New support package due on Wednesday


The Finance Ministry will on Wednesday announce a new set of measures to contain the effects of the coronavirus on the economy. Wednesday’s package will be the first to concern the workers – providing for them to be granted handouts – and to offer state collateral for credit for enterprises harmed by the pandemic.

Sources say the new package will provide a state benefit of 400-500 euros per month for each employee of enterprises shut by government order. The state will also cover their social security contributions based on their current salaries.

The ministry will also provide for the suspension of tax and social security obligations in sectors showing a decline in turnover, according to ministry figures, the same as it has done for enterprises that have already shut down. Kathimerini understands the companies to benefit should demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 50 percent.

The Finance Ministry will also announce the framework of medium-term measures that will start applying at a later date. They will include a new instrument for strengthening corporate liquidity, to help companies keep all workers currently employed. The measure will concern all corporations that have been forced to shut down or have experienced a slump in turnover, so as to help them get up and running again. The supply of credit with state collateral to suffering firms is also in the government’s plans.

The Finance Ministry had negotiations last night with the European Commission in order to confirm the content of those measures. These followed Tuesday’s announcement by Brussels about a new framework for state collateral. It will provide for collateral of up to two years and will not exceed 90 percent of loans’ value.

There is also a discussion about the general suspension of tax obligations for individuals too and an extension to the deadline for the submission of income tax declarations. Minister Christos Staikouras told Skai on Tuesday that various measures are being considered, also taking into account the experience of other countries.

In his address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that, at first, 2 billion euros will be granted to assist productive activities with problems.