Friday February 27, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
State failing to channel cash into the market

The much-needed flow of cash into the market has been reduced to a minimum due to ministerial insufficiency, bureaucracy and the personal ambitions of a number of tax officers, despite the system of arrears repayment agreed to. The photograph above is from Agnanta, near Arta in western Greece.

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou and Sotiris Nikas

Ministers’ inability to respond to the new reality, along with bureaucratic procedures and certain individuals placing their own personal goals above the public interest are the main reasons why the market is still waiting to receive much-needed cash owed to it by the state.

From the end of December, when funds from the bailout package started flowing back into Greece, up to the end of January, the state repaid just 1.003 billion euros of its obligations, while some 4 billion euros remained outstanding. At the end of last year, the state’s disposable cash stood at 5.9 billion euros; it has since dropped to an estimated 4 billion euros.

The public administration is once again proving that it is unable to rise to the occasion and secure the smooth supply of cash to the market. Although specific rules have been set for the repayment of arrears and the General State Accounting Office has signed memorandums with ministries, they are not being followed.

The Finance Ministry argues that the government is keeping to its schedule, which provides for the repayment of 3.5 billion euros in the first quarter of 2013, and 1.5 billion in each of the three remaining quarters. However, that does not mean that the money is reaching those it should. The Accounting Office might be signing the payment orders, but red tape, ministry staff shortages and the ambitions of certain tax office directors to show they are doing an improved job have resulted in the market being deprived of vital liquidity.

For instance, last month tax offices returned a mere 43 million euros to taxpayers, against a target for 311 million. Furthermore, although the Accounting Office had approved the disbursement of 962.03 million euros in state arrears to third parties, only 140 million was repaid. In December the equivalent figures had reached 396 million euros for tax refunds and 467 million for arrears payment.

The main factors in this situation are the political system, bureaucracy and the tax offices. At the Finance Ministry numerous ministerial demands have been submitted for the repayment of debts which are missing key documents required by the memorandums signed with the Accounting Office. The ministry is also very reluctant to increase the budget of ministries, as would happen before the crisis, due to the fact that any divergence would entail additional fiscal measures.

Red tape remains a huge barrier, as hardly any ministry has managed to set up the mechanisms that would rapidly channel funds where they should go. Tax offices are also a big problem, as demands for value-added tax refunds are piling up on desks.

ekathimerini.com , Friday February 22, 2013 (22:18)  
Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
Slowdown in tourism bookings from Germany
Economy grew by 1.3 pct in Q4 of last year
Gov’t plans tax on foreign-based funds
Tsipras unveils coalition´s first bills, due next week
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out on Friday his government’s immediate legislative plans, while at the same time insisting he would continue to pursue debt relief and refuse to sign a th...
Berlin clears extension as lenders ramp up pressure
There was strong backing in the German Parliament on Friday for the extension of Greece’s loan agreement but reports suggested that the country’s eurozone partners would continue to keep up ...
Inside News
SOCCER
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on ...
BASKETBALL
Greens lose at Maccabi but preserve head-to-head advantage
Panathinaikos suffered its third loss in eight games at the second stage of the Euroleague going down 73-70 at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday, but has preserved its better head-to-head record ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
A breath of opportunity
We are still living in the Greece we know: The government is struggling to explain its retreat in the face of our creditors, the opposition (including dissidents in SYRIZA) smells blood, we ...
EDITORIAL
Give the green light
Foreign investment is a crucial component of economic recovery and Greece needs to start bringing it in fast. Instead, the government, like others before it, is scaring it off in a bid to sa...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
2. Slowdown in tourism bookings from Germany
3. Economy grew by 1.3 pct in Q4 of last year
4. Gov’t plans tax on foreign-based funds
5. BoG recommends specialized entity for bad loans
6. Tsipras unveils coalition´s first bills, due next week
more news
Today
This Week
1. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
2. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
3. Gov't official: bill reinstating ERT, rehiring staff to go to Parlt on March 5
4. German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
5. Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension
6. Gov't adviser suggests Greek MPs could vote on deal in separate bills
Today
This Week
1. Greece prepares extension request for eurozone approval
2. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
3. Stubborn but not almighty
4. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
5. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
6. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.