FINANCE

Kick-starting the economy

Extension of support into April, additional measures for the resumption of market operation

kick-starting-the-economy

Two packages of measures adding up to some 3 billion euros constitute the government’s instruments for supporting enterprises as long as they remain closed as well as for the period after their reopening.

The first support package will effectively concern the extension of the existing measures, while the second will provide for new funding tools and tax breaks for enterprises and their employees.

Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis said the measures will be presented next week: “What we shall announce is the continuation of the measures on the basis of the lockdown extension. All these issues will be announced early next week,” he stated.

In the first week of April the government will also announce the support package for the food service sector that will be co-funded by the European Commission. Sources say that the package will help the sector’s enterprises to resume their activity and even procure everything that is necessary for their operation.

The measures to be extended into April will be the full exemption from rental payments for 210,000 enterprises that remain closed and the 40% rental discount for businesses that are still operating but suffering, the new (seventh) phase of cheap state loans program, the special-purpose compensation of €534, the “Syn-Ergasia” social security subsidy program, the extension of unemployment benefits, the suspension of tranche payments for rearranged debts to the tax authorities and the social security funds, and the freezing of checks.

The operation resumption package will provide for a reduced corporate tax deposit for companies with a major decline in turnover. According to the data the tax administration has started processing, most enterprises will show losses for 2020, which will lead to zero tax and therefore zero deposit. The reduction of the deposit will be targeted and will practically concern a small number of corporations and professionals.

In the next few days the Development Ministry will announce the new funding tool covering a series of eligible costs to help the food service and tourism sectors.