The deadlines of expiry, presentation and payment of bills of exchange at banks have been suspended by 75 days up to May 31. This measure, stemming from a legislative act issued by the Finance Ministry on Friday, concerns all enterprise-issuers included in the ministry’s list of financial activities that have either suspended their operations following a state order or which are suffering significantly as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the legislative act, the suspension will also apply to corporations whose activities are suspended or which will enter the new list of damaged sectors as of next month. For those enterprises, the suspension will come into force the day after the publication of the new list of companies suffering due to the coronavirus.
The measure applies to all checks produced electronically by the issuers to the banks within three working days of the issue of the legislative act (i.e. Wednesday, April 1) through a special application of the Teiresias online platform, regardless of whether the company is currently among the sectors deemed by the government to be affected by the Covid-19 crisis or will be included in future.
Checks in the Greek market, according to figures by the European Central Bank, amounted to 102 billion euros in 2018, while their number came to 6.4 million. A considerable share were postdated three, six or even more months, constituting a means of borrowing similar to formal borrowing via banks.
In the context of bank products with collateral from European Union subsidies or through the Development Bank, which the Development and Investments Ministry is preparing, the issuers or presenters of postdated checks will be allowed to receive a certain degree of cash flow from banks in order to facilitate their immediate payment.
The decision signed by Deputy Minister of Finance Apostolos Vesyropoulos that expands the favorable measures for enterprises hurt financially by the spread of the coronavirus was published on Friday in the Government Gazette. The collection of confirmed debts is suspended as of Friday, as are any confirmed dues from value-added tax declarations.