The government is to announce specific measures to support workers at enterprises forced to shut down due to the coronavirus epidemic, while next week the measures already applying to closed corporations for the suspension of tax and contribution payments will be extended to sectors hurt by the further spread of Covid-19. There will also be additional interventions in favor of their workers too.
These guidelines are included in the package of government initiatives Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced on Friday to ease the blow to the economy from the epidemic.
Strengthening the public health system comes top of the list, and additional funding for that purpose is expected to reach up to 200 million euros, Staikouras said. Some 15 million euros has already been authorized for the acquisition of healthcare material, while another 70 million will be used for the hiring of healthcare professionals.
The ministry is also aiming to boost the economy’s cash flow, so besides the suspension of companies’ obligations it is speeding up legislative initiatives regarding the repayment of overdue arrears. Sources say emphasis will be placed on the swift issue of pensions and the payment of tax rebates.
The measures will grow and expand as time goes by, depending on how the coronavirus evolves, something that no one is able to forecast at the moment, government officials say.
At Monday’s Eurogroup meeting the government will seek the inclusion of Greece in the general rule of fiscal easing to apply to all other eurozone member-states, so that it does not remain trapped in the demand for a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product.
An initial discussion on the measures of economic support to apply across the eurozone took place during Friday’s Eurogroup Working Group conference call, while the reference by European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen to “maximum flexibility” has raised Greek hopes of favorable treatment on Monday.