The Greek state takes more than twice as long to pay its suppliers as the law dictates. In doing so it deprives them of precious liquidity at a time when other sources of funding – such as bank credit – are extremely limited.
According to the European Payment Report 2018, which calculates the performance of European states in terms of due payments, the Greek state takes an average of 73 days to pay its bills, while the respective time for transaction payments between companies in Greece comes to 40 days. The report was drafted by Swedish credit management firm Intrum, which bought out bad-loan portfolios in Greece last year.
Although the figures show that the situation in Greece has improved since last year – in the 2017 the average time of payment had come to 103 days – the delays remain excessive.
Greece has the third longest payment period among 29 European states (including some non-European Union members) where the survey is conducted annually. An EU directive dating from 2011 provides for payments to be made within 30 days, and in exceptional circumstances in no more than 60 days.