ECONOMY

Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements

The government’s plan for the settlement debts to the state is paying off as Greeks are signing up in numbers for the more favorable payment scheme.

In less than 24 hours since the opening of the online register for the submission of applications, about 10,000 debtors applied for entry to a payment scheme allowing up to 100 installments and recently voted by Parliament. The plan provides a smaller interest rate (4.56 percent), a minimum tranche of 50 euros and the write-off of penalties and fines.

Finance Ministry employees were reportedly surprised by the response of debtors, though it was clear from the October figures released on Tuesday that thousands had forfeited the payment of their dues in anticipation of the new scheme. According to the figures, expired debts grew by 1.22 billion euros last month to a total of 71.5 billion.

Furthermore, social security funds have collected some 10 million euros in the first 10 days of the new system for debt settlement, as by last Friday 8,579 applications were approved concerning debts of 229.9 million euros in total.

These developments may strengthen the Greek side in negotiations with its creditors regarding the size (if any) of the 2015 fiscal gap, as the monthly inflow of repayments by debtors will boost coffers.