Within the next week, the banking system will announce a horizontal “freeze” in the increase of floating interest rates for private mortgage loans, announced the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras, speaking this morning to SKAI.

Mr. Staikouras predicted that the intervention will last, as – as he said – it is in everyone’s interest not to create a new generation of bad loans.

The Minister of Finance emphasized that at the moment the course of the economy is very good, the indicators are positive and better than the European average, but there are also problems from external crises.

Regarding red loans, he said that one category is those that have gone red and the second is those that are at risk of going red due to the increase in interest rates as installments increase.

In the future, he said, the phenomenon will become even worse because it seems that the increase in interest rates is not over and with the banking system we are trying to find optimal solutions.

We could not, he added, charge the borrowers the increase in installments, because based on the rules of the ECB, this would increase the volume of bad loans.

For intervention announced by the government he said that the goal is to catch the perimeter of borrowers whose installments have increased due to the increase in interest rates.

The perimeter of those who seem to have an increase is about 80,000 borrowers, said Mr. Staikouras and referred to the expanded criteria for vulnerable and informed borrowers, adding that 50% of the increase in installments is paid by the banks.

Regarding the volume of red loans, he said that banks have 9%, the rest are with loan managers.

Mr. Staikouras focused on three encouraging facts for the Greek economy:

1. in 2022, a difficult year, 84% of citizens paid all tax obligations with consequences – a historical record.

2. overdue debts have increased over the last 4 years, but the number of taxpayers who owe is 400,000 less than in 2018.

3. the overdue private debt is at 62% of the total debt, while we had received it at 70%.

Regarding the proposal of Alexis Tsipras on the debts, he said that “it is not realistic, it burdens the budget, it hides the problem under the carpet”.

The solution is to help society settle debts, as with the extrajudicial mechanism and bilateral contracts, continued the finance minister.

For loan servicers he said they have to bend over the problem, as many who have set up can’t stick to it due to exogenously derived accuracy.

Finally, he noted that there will be a horizontal price increase in 2023 as well, stressing that this parameter makes the opposition’s proposal even more irrelevant. “We have to be honest, there are no magic recipes” he concluded.