The enterprises involved in the sectors of tourism, transport, food service, culture and sport will continue to benefit from the 40% discount on their rent for July and August, the government decided on Friday.
The decision signed by Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Vesyropoulos shows that the government decided to incorporate the food service sector among the companies that have been hurt by the crisis and which will continue to pay a significantly lower amount of rent for another couple of months, following a request they had submitted. However, a similar demand by retailers has been rejected.
In a statement on Friday, Vesyropoulos said: “The government is fully aware of the problems specific sectors and corporations are facing, and generally of the momentum of the economy. As we had announced, the measure of the 40% discount on rental costs for July and August 2020 will apply to those enterprises, adding the food service sector. We shall continue our interventions where and when necessary so as to support enterprises, professionals and workers.”
The exemption of retail commerce from the rent reduction over the summer met with a strong reaction from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).
It stated that “the decision by the Finance Ministry not to include retail commerce [in the sectors affected] as it did with food service… was a nasty surprise for the country’s commerce.”
“If the extension concerns the companies hurt, it is not understood why retail commerce is exempted in a period when the turnover of commercial stores has collapsed,” ESEE added: “It is necessary for the government to revise its decision, for reasons of equal treatment to Greek commerce and of the protection of thousands of jobs.”
Landlords who will continue to lose revenues from the forced reduction of rents will have to submit their leasing contracts with tenants on the online platform of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.
According to the legislation, the government will cover 30 percent of the losses property owners will incur from the reduction of rents. That amount will not be returned to landlords, but will be offset in their tax obligations.