ECONOMY

EOPYY debts pile on obligations

State debts to third parties amounted to 7.9 billion euros at the end of August, the Finance Ministry announced on Tuesday, including ?forgotten? debts of 930 million euros owed by the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY).

Data for the first eight months of the year show that state debts to third parties came to just under 8 billion euros, out of which 4.1 billion euros concern the debts of social security funds.

Data for the year to July had shown state debts at 6.7 billion euros, but that amount has now been revised after the inclusion of EOPYY?s concealed debts run up since the start of the year. That has taken the figure to 7.6 billion, which grew by 300 million euros in August to 7.9 billion.

Of the 4.1 billion euros that social security funds owe, some 1.3 billion concerns the debts of the Civil Servants? Social Security Fund. Hospitals owe 1.7 billion, state corporations 323 million, local authorities 835 million and ministries 910 million. The ministry with the highest debts is that of National Defense, which owes 355 million euros, followed by the Infrastructure Ministry with 148 million, and the Development Ministry with 123 million.

The first draft of next year?s budget, presented on Monday, provides for the payment of debts of 7 billion euros, half of which will be covered by the end of this year and the rest in 2013. Repayment depends on the disbursement of the next bailout tranches from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Although the government intends to pay back the debts of 7.9 billion euros, it remains unknown when the next bailout tranche will be disbursed for payments to begin or when the extra 930 million euros will be repaid.

The Finance Ministry is actually talking about a haircut on debts to third parties of 1.5 billion euros, though the exact amount will be determined by the outcome of inspections by the General Accounting Office.

Separately, the ministry announced on Tuesday that in the year?s first eight months, the deficit of the general government amounted to 9.88 billion euros, from 17.4 billion in the same period last year. The budget showed a primary surplus of 1.4 billion euros, against a primary deficit of 4.16 billion in 2011.