ECONOMY

State tests the patience of creditors

The Greek state is the least reliable in terms of payments to citizens among European Union members, a European Commission report maintained yesterday. Brussels suggested that the days of delay for state money to reach people is intolerable and called on citizens who stand to receive money from the state to take action to put pressure on the state and get their money. The Commission, however, stops short of proposing any specific action that citizens should take. Greece and Cyprus are at the top of the index measuring the risk businesses take when dealing with the state. At the other end of the chart are the bloc’s four Scandinavian countries. Citizens in Greece have to wait for an average of 120 days to receive payments due to them, though there are cases in which delays of up to 330 days have been reported. In the majority of the other EU members, payments are completed within 60 days, according to 2005 data. The Commission moreover makes special reference to delays in payments in the health sector. Worse still, creditors must often resort to justice to get the money they are owed by the state.