People walk along the downtown Athens high street of Ermou, in Syntagma, last week. [InTime News]
Greek businesses are on course to lose 35 billion euros in earnings over the course of 2020.
Data from the first half of the year show a 15% drop in turnover, which represents a loss of €22 billion compared to last year. And the third quarter (July-September) does not appear to be any better.
Last year, total turnover of businesses was around €80 billion. Catering (bars, cafes and restaurants), accommodation, airlines and passenger shipping accounted for €8.2 billion.
This year, these businesses expect a turnover of less than 30% last year’s, which translates to around €6 billion in lost earnings. And with the ripple effect in so many other sectors, overall turnover loss in the third quarter is conservatively estimated at €10 billion.
The challenge now is to contain losses in the fourth quarter. That’s where the government aid will weigh in, in the form of low-interest loans, direct payments to employees, incentives to refurbish houses to gain energy efficiency, back pay to pensioners and other actions. The question is, will this aid find its way to the market or will the money be used mainly to pay back debt and as savings?