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Number of debtors to Greek state increased over summer

Almost 600,000 Greeks were added to the long list of state debtors over the summer, according to a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), with experts viewing this as a sign of deterioration for the private economy in Greece.

The PBO quarterly report for the July-September 2018 period noted on Tuesday that compared with the previous quarter, 584,979 more individuals and taxpayers owed money to the state.

According to Independent Authority for Public Revenue figures, this has taken the total number of debtors to the tax authorities to over 4.3 million by the end of September, or roughly two in every three taxpayers in Greece.

“That is a reflection of the worsening situation for individual taxpayers and corporations alike,” Independent Authority for Public Revenue board member Nikolina Kosteletou commented to Xinhua on Wednesday.

The PBO attributed this increase “to the seasonal factor, i.e. the deadline of certain categories of tax installments to which a section of taxpayers was unable to respond”. This has reversed the declining trend seen in previous quarters, according to the report.

Compared to the end of 2017, there has been a major increase by 312,812 individuals and corporations who owe the state a relatively small amount, up to 500 euros (560 U.S. dollars), the data showed.

“It is a sign that the private economy is not doing well, otherwise these people would have paid off their dues, as they used to do in the previous period,” added Kosteletou, also a lecturer of Economics at the University of Athens.

She also estimated that “this will only change once the economy reverts to robust growth so as to help incomes increase.”

The total amount of dues to the tax authorities came to 103.09 billion euros in the end of September, up by 4.72 billion euros from a year earlier, the PBO report noted. [reuters]

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