‘Second chance’ law for ailing firms

A draft bill, submitted in Parliament late Thursday by Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, aims to offer support to Greek businesses facing bankruptcy.

The bill foresees, among other things, the creation of an ?amicable arrangements committee? that would seek to reduce rent charges for storeowners struggling to remain solvent due to the repercussions of the debt crisis.

Also on the cards is the establishment of an independent authority that would supervise contracts for public procurement and projects.

Essentially the bill amends legislation governing bankruptcy with the aim of propping up businesses that are experiencing financial problems so that as many enterprises, and as many jobs, as possible are saved.

The bill?s basic premise is that debtor and creditors can reach a settlement ? which could involve the extension of the repayment period for debts or the transfer of the enterprise?s ownership — without official negotiations being launched. A subsequent court approval of the settlement agreed on would seal its legitimacy.

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