Greek private debt below EU average rate

Greek private debt below EU average rate

Private debt in Greece remains stable and lies below the European Union average, Deputy Finance Minister Haris Theocharis said in Parliament on Friday.

Responding to PASOK – Movement for Change Deputy Michalis Katrinis, who filed a question on “government failure to manage private debt,” Theocharis said: “The opposition’s claim that the issue of private debt in Greece is getting worse is inaccurate. Private debt remains stable in Greece, at around 120% of GDP for 2019-2022.”

The average private debt in the EU is 135%.

Progress achieved by the New Democracy government’s interventions is proven by the values of the debts in arrears index, he said, as a percentage of the total private debt.

“This figure had been restricted to 62.1% by the end of 2022, from 68.3% in 2019, while the trend is clearly to de-escalate. Therefore, we are seeing that the issue of outstanding citizen and business debt in arrears is shrinking as an issue compared to the entirety of the economy,” he added.

Following the discussion on the question and answer, Katrinis accused the government of “not being willing in any way to promote realistic solutions and policies to resolve private debt.”

Theocharis responded that a “faulty loan-collecting relaxation” introduced by the Louka Katseli law on debt repayment in 2010 exacerbated the issue.

“Half of the problem we are facing now with irresponsible borrowers is due to that law, which gave across-the-board protection for years to borrowers who don’t deserve it,” he noted.

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