Greece has suspended the operation of debt collecting agencies during the coronavirus crisis, Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis announced on Thursday.
The government does not want to encourage a “non-payment” culture but hounding people over debts at the present time was not permissible, he told media.
The agencies operation is suspended for the duration of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, he added.
He clarified that the suspension, effective from Thursday, did not suspend people’s obligation to pay their debts or make loan repayments but only stopped collection agencies from calling up debtors.
A more general discussion on loans in arrears was underway in collaboration with the finance minister, he added.
“It took a great deal of effort to establish a payment culture in Greece. If we spoil it, we risk returning to the situation before 2010,” the minister noted.
He noted that the measures to support businesses announced on Wednesday were only for the businesses forced to stop their operations and on condition that there were no layoffs.
“It is the government’s intention that we will come out of this crisis together….in the end, we will all be judged and entrepreneurs must put their shoulders to the wheel and we will be here to help them but we must all press on together. One chapter is to overcome the crisis and another chapter is to get the economy going again,” he added. [amna]
PS I read several complaints on social media that debt collecting agencies kept calling debtors despite the fact the operation of thousands of businesses has been suspended and hundreds of thousands of workers are left without income.