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FinMin urges speed up efforts to resolve private debt problem

Addressing the problem of private debt is one of the government’s priorities since the beginning of its term Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday.

Speaking in Parliament, the FinMin said that private debt arrears fell to 63.6% in the first half of 2022 from 70% in 2018, while the Greek private debt as a percentage of GDP fell to 125.5%, down from an European average of 162.5%.

He noted that Greek banks’ NPLs fell to 10% of loan portfolios at the end of the first half of 2022, from 44% in 2019, with the help of the “Heracles” program.

However, Staikouras stressed that despite a restructuring in banks’ balance sheets, private debt remained high, with NPLs held by banks totaling 15 billion euros and NPLs held by servicers totaling 87 billion euros.

Staikouras noted there was increased interest by civilians to seek debt settlement through an out-of-court platform and said that he expected all related financial agencies to complete procedures. He stressed, however, that creditors continued rejecting a large volume of debt settlement requests and said there was significant room of improvement in this field.

Finally, he urged services and other creditors to align their operations with state towards an efficient and sustainable management of the private debt problem.

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