The government on Monday announced a comprehensive package of measures for the support of businesses and employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the measures heraldd by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras is the extension of a 800 million-euro handout to a total of 1.7 million workers along with an extension of a moratorium of their debts to the state for 4 months.
Staikouras added that protective measures will be extended to benefit a total of 800,000 affected businesses. They will benefit from a suspension of paying value added tax and debts to the state, Staikouras said, adding that a precondition for inclusion in the scheme is keeping all workers in employment.
As regards the Easter bonus, it will be paid in full to all employees of all businesses, Staikouras said, adding that the state will pay the bonus in the event that the workers are on temporary suspension.
A scheme has also been devised to support some 700,000 self-employed professionals ansd owners of small businesses, the minister said.
Staikouras also heralded a supplementary budget to address the fallout of the virus, with 5.1 billion euros in additional spending for March and April alone and a total of 6.8 billion euros set aside for the response to the pandemic.
Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis also addressed the press conference, announcing that the state will help businesses in the payment of loans for the months of April and June. Those who can pay should do so, he said, underlining the importance of maintaining a "culture of payment" embraced following the country's financial crisis.
Georgiadis said the state will provide 1 billion euros in guarantees for loans to struggling businesses. "Noone will be left behind," he said.
For his part, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis underlined the need for "both a sense of both individual and collective responsibility to prevail so we can emerge from this crisis with the minimum of losses."