BUSINESS

Labor Ministry contemplates confiscations

By Christina Kopsini

The Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits.

The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped.

While this amount – equal to 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product – may be easy to calculate on paper, it is virtually impossible to collect even if the state attempts to confiscate all the real estate properties of debtors and the debts of third parties to them.

The ministry has been forced to consider asset repossessions as a result of the very poor state of social security funds. The fiscal gap expected at the end of the year from social security will at best be equal to 1.06 billion euros. This also constitutes a bad start for next year, too, when the budget will also provide for a reduction in state subsidies to social security funds by 1.8 billion euros.

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