At least 50 percent of enterprises in Greece are hurting due to the crisis caused by new coronavirus, according to data presented by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Friday. In total, 440,000 corporations employing about 1 million workers with a turnover of 6.5 billion euros per year are showing a reduction in their financial figures, State General Accounting Office figures indicate.
These corporations will enjoy the support measures announced by the government concerning the suspension of their tax and social security obligations, while they will receive cash injections through the instruments the Finance Ministry has created.
The ministry’s list of companies hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic includes breweries, shoemakers, car dealers, beverage, coffee, tea, cocoa, furniture and rug wholesalers, book publishers and schools, among others.
The ministers of finance, labor and development announced that 1.4 million workers will receive compensation of 800 euros each in early April, with the total cost exceeding 2 billion euros: They include many salary workers and freelancers, as well as those fired or forced to resign between March 1 and 18, regardless of whether they have the right to unemployment benefits.
The third package announced on Friday also includes the extraordinary measure of contract suspension, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced. This concerns employers who see their turnover shrink, who will be able to suspend some or all of their workers but not fire them. The measure may apply for an entire month, and there is the possibility of an extension.
Vroutsis added that as long as an employer has suspended some contracts he/she cannot terminate them, and if he/she attempts to do so then the dismissals will be invalid. After the use of the contract suspension, the employer is obliged to maintain the jobs for the same period as that he/she used the measure for.
Employers must declare contract suspensions to the Labor Ministry’s Ergani hirings database, and of course notify the workers, otherwise they will not benefit from the tax and social security payment suspension.