BUSINESS

Measures for fire-stricken areas

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU, EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Finance

The government on Tuesday announced an extraordinary assistance package of 20 million euros from the resources of the Public Investments Program and a number of support measures for the citizens and enterprises stricken by Attica’s deadly fires. Banks have also announced some measures for affected borrowers.

The first relief measures by the state will ease the tax obligations of residents in the affected areas, exempt them from property tax payments and freeze their loan repayments to banks, while a special account for material damage will be created, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos announced.

However, Tzanakopoulos added, the main bundle of measures to support the stricken families, as well as any extraordinary handouts and compensation, will be announced shortly after the situation has been fully assessed.

The measures announced on Tuesday provide for the extension until September 28 of the deadline for the submission of declarations concerning income tax, value-added tax and other deducted taxes. Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou said the situation will be reassessed in September for a possible further extension.

Papanatsiou further announced a six-month extension for payments of debts to the state, including income tax dues concerning statements that have already been submitted. Owners of properties in the area will be exempt from paying this year’s Single Property Tax (ENFIA), while the state will set up a special bank account into which it, along with any individuals wishing to participate, will pay money for the restoration of damage.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic Bank Association announced its own package of measures. It includes forgiving the mortgage and consumer loan debts of the deceased (so their families won’t have to pay), the suspension of auctions of assets owned by those affected by the fires till end-2018 as well as installment payments for credits cards and various loans for six to 12 months, and the issue of low-interest, long-maturity loans for restoring damage to houses and commercial property.

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