Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Friday unveiled a new so-called “Bridge Program” aimed at providing some relief to thousands of borrowers with mortgages – both those who are in arrears, as well as those who are not in the red but are struggling to keep with payments as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to lawmakers in Parliament, Staikouras rejected criticism from the opposition claiming that government measures are inadequate and inefficient, saying that the ministry has taken 59 specific measures to help struggling households so far.
“This is first time ever that the state is supporting not only non-performing [loans] but also borrowers [who are not in arrears] – everyone impacted by the coronavirus crisis,” he said, according to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).
For loans that are not in the red, the program will provide a subsidy for monthly loan tranches that will cover 90% in the first three months, 80% in the second quarter and 70% in the third quarter, and will have a ceiling of 600 euros. For non-performing loans, the subsidy will cover 80%, 70% and 60% per quarter, with a ceiling of 500 euros.
Staikouras said that the cost of the new program has been estimated at around 300 million euros, adding that eligible borrowers will be able to apply for the new program from early August until September 30.
The program covers all individuals, including workers in the private sector hit by the crisis, the unemployed receiving extra financial support, the self-employed, individuals with a reduction of their monthly wages and property owners receiving reduced rents, among others, the ANA-MPA said.