Greek debt forgiveness plan takes in 147 mln euros

Cash-strapped Greece has garnered a little over 147 million euros ($158 million) via a debt forgiveness scheme designed to bolster the states near-empty coffers, officials said on Wednesday.

The finance ministry said over 150,000 private individuals and companies had hastened to settle or partially repay debts to the state dating to the 1970s.

The ministry said that under normal circumstances, repayment of such debts “is close to zero.”

Among them, some 58,000 people had paid between 50 and 100 euros to take advantage of the scheme, which erased accrued interest and fines on their debts to the state.

Greece’s international creditors have raised objections to debt relief measures, but the radical Greek government insisted when it unveiled the initiative in February that they would have a net positive effect on the budget.

Overall, the Greek state is owed 76 billion euros in unpaid taxes and social insurance contributions.

The ministry considers that just 9.0 billion euros can be realistically recovered.

Greeces own debt to private bondholders and the three institutions supporting the country financially since 2010 — the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank — is around 320 billion euros.


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