Greece is about to issue an open invitation to foreign pensioners to relocate their tax domicile to Greece, with a bill to that effect set to be put up for consultation today or on Monday, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras stated on Thursday. He also reiterated his view that the economy will not shrink any more than 8% this year.
In an interview on Skai Radio Staikouras revealed the bill is ready for public consultation, offering tax incentives to pensioners from abroad that are understood to include a 7% flat tax rate. He added that he is eager to hear what citizens and the various entities will say during the consultation, appearing ready to introduce amendments to the draft law if required.
The ministry has not changed its forecast for an economic contraction of up to 8% this year, said Staikouras: “These were our original estimates, at end-April, without this meaning they could not be modified depending on how tourism evolves during the summer,” he explained. That estimate compares with the projection of the European Commission for a 9.7% contraction.
The minister went on to announce that more than 1 billion euros in state loans will be disbursed as of next week to some 100,000 companies eligible to participate in the Deposit To Be Returned program. “Importantly, this is directly from the state, without the involvement of the banks,” Staikouras noted. He added that there were tens of thousands of other applicant companies for the program of loans with favorable terms, but they did not qualify because they were not loss-making.
A third phase of the program is being considered, he noted, as the government’s intention is to offer support to all those who were not covered by the previous packages. This, he explained, is possible thanks to the additional liquidity Greece has secured since April by way of bond issues and treasury bill auctions that have fetched €7 billion into the state coffers.
Staikouras added that over 200,000 freelance professionals would receive their state support by today, ranging from 300 to 800 euros each, for the month of May.