BUSINESS

SMEs owe just under 200 billion to banks, tax office

Small and medium-sized enterprises owe no less than 193.2 billion euros to banks, utilities, tax authorities and social security funds, according to calculations by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE).

This constitutes a considerable headache for banks and the state revenues, which puts the credit system and the state budget in even greater danger, and goes some way toward explaining the viability problem of the social security funds.

The above amount does not include the enterprises? debts to suppliers, which have increased considerably, while repayment delays have grown to 12 months, causing a chain reaction in the market.

The data collected by ESEE?s Institute for Commerce and Services show that the enterprises? obligations to banks came to 135.5 billion euros in December 2011, according to Bank of Greece figures, overdue debts to the Social Security Foundation (IKA) come to 11.5 billion euros and to other social security funds add up to 3.5 billion, while tax owed comes to 41.1 billion euros.

Debts to utilities are not insignificant either, as small and medium-sized enterprises owe some 1.25 billion euros to the Public Power Corporation and 334.2 million euros to the Athens Water Company (EYDAP).

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