ECONOMY

Government presents package to help borrowers

The government proposed to banks a plan for lightening the load on borrowers who may be unable to repay their mortgages.

The set of ideas that Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis proposed late on Monday to the Hellenic Bank Association provides for a grace period of four years during which borrowers with low incomes will only have to pay interest at a fixed rate of just 1.5 percent.

The amount of the installment should not exceed 30 percent of the monthly income of each borrower. House repossesions and auctions will be frozen for the whole of 2013.

Borrowers associations criticized the government on Tuesday morning for saying nothing about consumer loans or about reducing interest rates for borrowers.

“It forces borrowers to pay eternally for their loans,” said Panayiota Kalapotharakou, director of consumer association EKPIZO on Skai television.

“The government is not trying to impress borrowers, but to help them,” countered Deputy Development Minister Thanasis Skordas on Tuesday morning on Skai Radio.

He stressed that any solution given should not upset the capital adequacy the state could secure after the recapitalization of the banking system.