BUSINESS

Rent discount to be extended?

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Property, Finance

The Finance Ministry is considering an extension of the 40% discount on the rents that food service professionals pay, with a similar request also having been tabled by retail stores.

Both sectors are hoping to enjoy the benefits of the decision providing for the maintenance of the reduced rent for tourism-related enterprises. For the time being no decision has been made, but sources say one scenario favors leaving the market to sort itself out, with rental levels based on negotiations between landlords and tenants.

Another possibility foresees one or both sectors enjoying the discount for three additional months, but with the prospect of the government covering a greater share of the landlords’ losses than the current 30%, as it will now concern six months of reduced takings for them.

The same sources add that this is a particularly difficult decision and note that the fiscal cost will be assessed in the coming days for the final decision to be made.

The extension of the discount by another three months has met with the strong opposition of property owners, who have proposed to retailers and food service store proprietors that they resume negotiations without state intervention, as long as the 30% coverage of their losses by the state continues for another quarter.

The delay in the government decision has generated problems for property owners, who have not yet been paid July’s rent as food service and retail businesses have held back payments in anticipation of the decision; that will concern the code numbers of professions that can benefit from the 40% rental discount.

The government has extended this measure for July and August but only for companies in tourism, transport, sport and cultural activities. However, retailers located in tourism areas or which sell commodities of tourism interest also expect to be included in the decision for the three-month extension, and thus are also delaying the payment of their rents.

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