Interpreting law 3943/11, which was passed last March and gave some hope for the settlement of debts to the state, the finance minister described all the obstacles posed by the state against citizens who expect to make use of its provisions. Venizelos is dismissing the expectation of the business sector to offset its debts against the tax authorities with what the state owes back.
As the outstanding debts of public enterprises reach 7 billion, and despite stressing that "we can not ask for tax compliance only when we have not fulfilled our obligation." The state will pay whenever they can. Although the memorandum provides that the state should avoid delay of payments, Venizelos said that "offsets will be promoted to the limits of the public treasury endurance and to meet our budgetary goals." That is:
Only debts of the narrow public sector can be offset against debts of enterprises. Whatever "is owed by the narrow public sector, the legal person of the state and not other public sector entities." If a firm expects returns (but does not receive them) by the wider public sector (eg local authorities, insurance funds, utilities, etc.) it should pay in full what it owes to the state, without expecting that it will offset it with what it expects to receive from the public sector.
The public debts which companies can offset should be definitive, confirmed and cleared. Although law 3943 provides that "any requirement of a debtor to the state that is proven by a final court decision or a public document, can be offset against the confirmed debts to the state", in practice individuals must wait for an entire bureaucratic process of audits and approvals to prove the debt which has been created in order to delay payments and secondarily to verify their appropriateness or correctness.