A 0.6% public levy weighs on Stimulus Fund loans, hurting investment

The banks had recommended the exclusion of Stimulus Fund loans from the charge imposed during the country’s dictatorship, then turned into a tax. The aim of the banks’ proposal is to keep interest rates as low as possible.

A significant increase in the interest rate on loans to be granted to small and medium-sized enterprises under the Recovery Fund will come after the government’s decision not to exclude loans from a charge resulting from a 1975 law imposed on all loans (except mortgages).

The banks had recommended the exclusion of Stimulus Fund loans from the charge imposed during the country’s dictatorship, then turned into a tax. The banks’ proposal aims to keep interest rates as low as possible. It should be noted that the philosophy of the Recovery Fund is, through European subsidies, to offer companies loans at very low interest rates for investments. With the help of the Fund, a very large company, with a high credit rating, could borrow money as low as 1%, however, the final interest rate will be 1.6%, which is 60% higher. , due to the imposition of the 0.6% levy in favor of the Greek State.

In fact, the burden is a larger problem for domestic businesses, banks and the economy as it drastically increases the cost of money, leading to an increase in the final interest rate. by 10% at 40% in most cases. The cost of borrowing in Greece remains disproportionate compared to other European countries, creating a significant disadvantage for businesses.

Yesterday the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras, called on banks, in comments to a parliamentary economy committee, to to improve systems for collecting information and data, both quantitative and qualitative, in order to better price loans “in order to reduce – indeed – high borrowing costs, which are high, especially compared to other countries, net interest income of banks.”

However, a major factor in determining the cost of money is the state levy which was initially imposed in 1971 on certain categories of loans by the junta, extended in 1975 horizontally to all loans and substantially transformed into a tax. in 1991.

It is noted that in no other European country There is a corresponding contribution, which disproportionately increases the cost of borrowing, while also creating a significant administrative cost for banks, which are required to collect the tax and return it to the state. Banks, businesses and businesses have been pushing for the tax to be abolished for decades, pointing out that it is a tax that disproportionately drives up borrowing costs.

The levy of the 1975 law can only be avoided by Anonymous companies, which have the capacity to issue bonds. All bond issues, listed or not, are exempt from the 0.6% levy, which explains the massive shift of large companies to this source of financing.

However, small and medium enterprises do not have the capacity to issue bonds in order to avoid the levy. At a time when small and medium-sized enterprises are under multiple pressures, not only are there no initiatives to strengthen them substantially, but the maintenance of anachronistic regulations disproportionately increases their financing costs. Even a young independent professional whoever buys an office for work is responsible for this contribution.


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