Government pledges 2 billion euros to help businesses, workers

Government pledges 2 billion euros to help businesses, workers

The Greek government on Wednesday 2-billion-euros’ worth of measures to blunt the effect of the coronavirus epidemic on the country’s struggling economy, pledging 1 billion euros each for businesses and workers, as part of a total 3.8 billion-euro package that includes 1.8 billion in European Union funds.

According to an announcement by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, an estimated 200,000 businesses employing around 600,000 people will be exempt from paying taxes and social security contributions until July 31, while workers who are left out of a job as a result of the shutdown of much of the country’s commercial activity will receive a benefit of 800 euros in April, while the state will cover their social security and health insurance costs. This measure is estimated to benefit around 500,000 people, at a cost of 450 million euros.

Self-employed professionals and one-person businesses will be relieved of tax obligations for four months, while businesses that are being forced to close will have to pay 60 percent of the rent on their premises for March and April.

The government will also use an additional 1.8 billion euros in EU funding to boost liquidity to businesses, as well as employment and salary costs.

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