By G. Palaitsakis
A new document submitted to Parliament by the independent public revenues authority substantially raises the amount of arrears owed to the Greek state and pension funds by individuals and legal entities, as interest, penalties, fines and any other fees tacked on bring the figure up to a stratospheric 182.28 billion euros.
The newly cited figure, which far exceeds the often cited figure of between 95 and 100 billion euros in arrears, was submitted as part of an official response to a tabled Parliament question.
Nevertheless, as previously and repeatedly reported, much of the figure is comprised of arrears owed by businesses no longer in operation, all types of bankruptcies and by individuals no longer economically active, or in many cases, alive.
One of the initiatives long cited in the country, but still not implemented, is to differentiate arrears into ones that can be collected and those that should be written off the books as uncollectible.
In clarifying the newly cited figure, which is more than double the entire credit line extended by institutional creditors in the third memorandum bailout or Greece’s estimated GDP for this year, the revenues authority said interest payments, penalties and all other fees are calculated up on payment of arrears, and not pre-calculated, as per the current law.
Some of the arrears date to the 1980s and 1990s, when debts to the state could be tripled, amid usually high annual inflation rates experienced at the time in Greece.