BUSINESS

State’s debts keep swelling

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

The government continues to generate debts in a market that is increasingly unable to meet its commitments in growing taxes but also new high social security contributions.

Bank of Greece data show that the government repaid 432 million euros of its debt in the first quarter of the year, but in the first two months new debts generated by the state amounted to 494 million euros. Roughly, this means that for every euro it repays, it creates new debts of 1.14 euros.

Figures from the State General Accounting Office reveal that the state’s expired debts came to 4.554 billion euros on December 31. In the first month of 2017 they rose to 4.8 billion euros and in February they jumped to 5.048 billion. It is reminded that the government is committed to paying off all its debts by June.

This concerns only debts that have been processed and confirmed by state authorities, but there is also a sum of 1 billion euros in value-added tax rebate requests that have not yet been processed. The average time applicants have to wait exceeds 350 days, while in some cases the state has paid its VAT dues to corporations after more than four years, or 1,663 days.

There is also an additional 1 billion euros or so owed by the state in so-called “hidden debts” by entities that have not informed the Finance Ministry of certain expenditures.

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