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Greek Gov’t announces relief package for pandemic-hit businesses worth €2.5 billion

The Greek government announced a package of new economic support measures worth 2.5 billion euros. The new package will relief more than 500,000 businesses, freelancers and workers, the Prime Minister said.

The government will allocate an additional 2.5 billion euros to support employees and businesses, which are added to the 24 billion euros already distributed in 2020. The new financial aid raises the overall funds for 2021 to 11.6 billion euros.

“From the first moment that the pandemic struck, I had stressed that the priority of health must go hand in hand with shielding the economy. That is why, in addition to the titanic effort to strengthen the national health system in 2020, 24 billion euros were allocated to support employees and businesses. And today another 2.5 billion are being mobilised, raising the relevant funds in 2021 to 11.6 billion,” the prime minister underlined.

According to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, the package of measures will include:

1. Improving the terms of state loans programme by offering a 50% exemption to the loans disbursed in the three first rounds of the programme for turnover losses suffered by enterprises in 2020. The cost of the measure is around 570 million euros.

2. Starting a new round of state loans, round 7, in April based on turnover losses suffered in the first quarter of 2021, also with a payment exemption rate of 50%. The cost of the measure will be around 1.0 billion euros.

3. Expanding periods of repayment of state loans, from 40 to 60 tranches and offering a 15 pct discount on on-off repayment.

4. Introducing a new framework for supporting enterprises in the form of subsidising fixed overheads in 2020, such as social insurance contributions, energy, water, telecommunications, rents, other operating expenses, capital expenses. The cost of the programme is estimated at 500 million euros.

5. Introducing a new “Gefyra” programme subsidising corporate loans, mostly for micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed. The program envisages the subsidy of monthly payments of corporate loans for eight months, covering both capital and interest, without any ceiling on debt. The cost of the measure is estimated at 300 million euros.

6. Expanding a measure suspending payments of tax debt at a cost of 60 million euros.

Staikouras said that the government has supported and continues to support households and enterprises with measures worth a total of 35.6 billion euros in the 2020-2021 period. He added “it is clear that it will take time to return to normality. However, we stand by the side of society and will continue to do so for as long as it takes, always within the fiscal and cash capabilities of the country.”

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