Buried under a mountain of non-performing loans (NPL), Greece’s four big banks have been able to sell off some €20 billion euros to distress funds to hound debtors, many unable to pay because of repeated pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings.
The banks had already gotten €50 billion in a bailout from €326 billion successive governments got in three rescue packages from international lenders and were allowed to start foreclosing on homes.
Greek banks and bad loan servicers together hold some €100 billion worth of NPL and aim to get rid of €30 billion in the next three years. And the funds are expected to buy another €33 billion more.
So far, 17 distress funds have been licensed for operation in Greece, and another five are expected to open soon, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.
The funds now employ about 2,000 people, many tasked with repeatedly calling people demanding they pay what they owe while the government is holding back payments to people owed money by the state to build up a primary surplus by not paying bills.
Original Story:The Herald Times | TNH Staff
Photo: FreeImages.com/Jonte Remos