The pile of overdue state arrears to suppliers and taxpayers remained virtually unchanged in October from the previous month, at around 2.5 billion euros, even though the government has promised the country’s creditors a considerable reduction by the end of the year.
Finance Ministry data put the expired debts of the general government to suppliers at 1.629 billion euros at end-October, down from 1.637 billion at end-September. Pending tax rebates amounted to 828 million euros, against 874 million a month earlier. Therefore the total debts of the state added up to 2.457 billion at end-October, compared to 2.511 billion at the end of September.
The payment of all the state’s expired dues is one of the main outstanding issues being monitored in the post-bailout enhanced surveillance by the creditors. A reference to the issue was included in Eurogroup’s statement on Wednesday, when the disbursement to Athens of earnings from central banks’ Greek bond holdings was approved.
The previous government had pledged to bring the debts to suppliers down to zero by the end of the third bailout period, in August 2018, but in March 2019 they still stood at 1.7 billion.