Greece eases protection on troubled mortgages

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 18 at 10:04 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek government says it will partially lift protection for distressed mortgages in the crisis-hit country to protect banks from a rising number of unpaid loans.

The Development Ministry said Wednesday it will extend through 2014 a freeze on repossession but only for primary properties valued at up to 200,000 euros ($275,000) and households with an annual net income of under 35,000 euros.

But blanket protection on main household properties — a measure essentially in effect since the start of the financial crisis four years ago — will end on Jan. 1, the ministry said.

The Bank of Greece on Tuesday said the general amount of non-performing loans had risen to 29.3 in June, from 24.5 percent a year earlier.

The new regulations are to be voted by parliament Saturday.

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