ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has enough money to pay all bondholders as well as pensions and salaries until mid-November, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Tuesday, amid market fears that the country might default in coming weeks.
Greece had previously said it would start running out of money in mid-October if it didn't get the next euro8 billion ($11 billion) installment of its euro110 billion bailout package.
"Until mid-November it is clear there will be no problem," said Venizelos, who returned from a eurozone finance ministers' meeting in Luxembourg. The ministers indicated early Tuesday that Greece will get the installment, but that the decision would be made later this month.
International debt inspectors delayed their clearance of the bailout installment, which had been originally expected in September, amid talk of missed budget targets in Athens. That has raised the possibility that Greece would run out of money to pay salaries and pensions. If it had found itself unable to pay bondholders, a messy default could have roiled financial markets across the world.
Venizelos added that Greece will issue euro880 million in bonds to Finland as collateral for the country's bailout loans to Athens under a second, euro109 billion bailout deal agreed on in July. Finland had demanded guarantees in exchange for participating in the second package.
Other countries had threatened to demand similar guarantees if Finland got its way, but Venizelos said that no other eurozone states wanted the same collateral deal.