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Politics

Greece Setting Up Agency to Collect State, Private Debt Data

ATHENS – Just as the New Democracy government is under assault by critics over a wiretapping and spyware scandal that targeted a rival political leader and journalist – among 15,700 being surveiled – a new agency is being set up to collect information about debts to the state and financial institutions.

A draft Finance Ministry bill to set up the agency was recently submitted for public comments, said Kathimerini, reporting that the agency will have access to financial records of debtors, including corporations, and issue credit ratings.

It will also be able to exchange information on credit with other credit-assessing agencies, such as Teiresias, adding to further compilations of a database of people who can’t pay their bills.

The information collected and shared by the agency will help banks decide whether an applicant should get a loan and know about debts as well as other financial data to help make a decision, the report said.

Officials not named also said that every individual, or corporation, will be able to use their creditworthiness certification issued by the agency to negotiate loans or debt schedule repayments with both banks and the state too.

The Finance Ministry said a more accurate database of debt histories is needed because previous methods didn’t give a full picture of whether applicants would be able to repay, banks still under a mountain of bad loans.

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