Big Government Grinds Greek Economy
Last week, Medical Service Limited, a small Athens’ supplier of medical equipment that can no longer afford to pay its employees, received what should have been a blessing: an order from one of the city’s hospitals for a heart monitoring machine.
But after thinking it over, Yannis Stamos, the company’s co-founder, turned the customer away. Filling the order would have meant reaching into Medical Service’s own pockets to cover the €35,000 cost of such a machine, since Greek banks have stopped lending and the company’s German suppliers now demand pre-payment in cash.
Even if it could foot the bill, Medical Service would then have to hand over thousands of euros in sales tax to the Greek government within a month – long before any hospital is likely to pay.
“It’s a terrible situation,” Mr Stamos says. “Everything is frozen. The economy is dead, and no one is paying anyone.”