The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) deferred a decision to disburse a one billion euro loan tranche today, which was withheld from a larger March tranche pending progress with online property auctions and with the payment of state arrears to the private sector.

Sources said that the reason for the delay was that Athens did not present adequate documentation that there has been progress in the payment of public sector arrears.

Public sector debt to the private sector declined only slightly in a one-month period, dropping from 2.749bn euros in March to 2.617bn euros in April.

The ESM is expected to confer on the issue once again next week, by teleconference, as the deadline for disbursement of the one billion euros is 15 June. Otherwise the earmarked money reverts to the ESM.

The government received 500mn euros from March’s 5.7bn loan tranche in order to pay arrears, and it had an obligation to disburse another 500mn euros from the state budget to pay off a total of one billion euros in arrears.