BUSINESS

State entities drag feet over debt coverage

TAGS: Finance

The Finance Ministry is yet to announce its September figures on the repayment of debts to third parties, although it did announce the figures up to end-August on Friday. This lack of information on last month’s figures is what deprived Greece of the disbursement of the entire 2.8-billion-euro bailout tranche this week.

In June the country received 1.8 billion euros from the bailout mechanism for the payment of the state’s debts to its suppliers and taxpayers. Friday’s data showed that by end-August the ministry had extended credit of 1.85 billion euros to state entities for them to cover their arrears, but the latter only distributed to the market 1.35 billion.

In order for the remainder – 1.7 billion euros – of the 2.8-billion-euro bailout tranche due to Athens to be disbursed by the end of October, Greece must show that by end-September it had paid off debts totaling at least 80 percent of the funding provided for that purpose in June – i.e. 1.44 billion euros. Budget data show that by end-September the ministry had allocated 2.03 billion euros to state entities, whose payment data are not yet available.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) reiterated on Friday that gross domestic product contracted 0.2 percent at fixed prices in 2015, as had also been estimated last March, but at current prices the economy shrank 1.3 percent last year against a previous estimate for a 0.9 percent contraction. ELSTAT also revised the 2014 growth rate from 0.6 percent to 0.4 percent, making it the first year the economy has expanded since 2008.

Final consumption expenditure shrank 1.9 percent last year from 2014 – against a previous estimate of 0.9 percent – in the first year that capital controls came into force.

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