BUSINESS

Expired debts to determine economy

THANOS TSIROS

TAGS: Economy

The most turbulent year of the past few decades has ended for Greece with overdue private arrears of above 240 billion euros (not including unknown debts between individuals) and state debt exceeding the limit of 200% of gross domestic product for the first time ever, to reach €338 billion.

Debt management, especially that of private debt, will constitute the biggest challenge for the economy this year, as it will determine the number of company shutdowns and layoffs and the creation of a new generation of bad loans that will burden the credit system.

The problem of debt grows bigger with every day that passes with the economy in quarantine, as more and more obligations pile up in the pool of arrears that are meant to be dealt with at a later date, when the health crisis has been contained for good.

Such obligations concern loan tranches to banks that have been frozen, past debt repayment installments, tax and social security dues that have been suspended and many more debts that are supposed to start getting repaid after April 2021, according to decisions made by the government in 2020.

Online