The speeding up of the process by which social security funds and national healthcare provider EOPYY pay off their substantial debts was at the center of a meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and several ministers on Monday.
EOPPYY and the other state-backed funds owed a total of 1.9 billion euros dating back to the beginning of 2012. The government has budgeted for 1.2 billion euros of this being paid off by the end of this year. But so far, just under half, or 565 million, has been paid to patients, doctors, pharmacists, medical suppliers and diagnostic centers, among others. This leaves more than 634 million euros to be paid out over the next five months.
During the meeting, in which Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and several others took part, Samaras expressed concern about what effect the slow release of the money was having on liquidity.
“Greece is like a desert that is waiting for a drop of rain,” he reportedly told his ministers. “These overdue debts are that droplet.”
Samaras asked his ministers to produce tangible results on the matter by the end of the month. It was agreed that there would be a change in the law to make it easier for the funds to exchange information and for experienced personnel from other departments to be transferred to help facilitate the quicker payment of debts.