Nearly 60,500 businesses, self-employed professionals and professional farmers have so far commenced – but not finalized - the process to apply for an out-of-court settlement framework for arrears to the private sector, mainly banks.
According to the Professional Chamber of Athens, who has been monitoring the process over the past few years, two “weaknesses” have emerged: the first being that applicants who have ceased their professional activity or closed their business are automatically ruled out. The other “oversight”, according to the chamber, is that business owners and self-employed professionals usually exhaust all their remaining capital on covering arrears to the tax bureau and social security fund, with scant money left over to cover private sector arrears and bank debts.
As of Tuesday, 6,582 applications have been officially submitted, with 1,844 achieving a favorable settlement of arrears, i.e. one out of 3.6 applications filed. The other applicants are in various phases of the process, such as negotiating with creditors.