A new lockdown would be hard for the real economy to bear, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday, while making it clear that if deemed necessary for the protection of public health the country’s cash reserves will suffice to cover the cost of any interventions.
Speaking to protothema.gr, Staikouras stressed that the country has made a choice: It has put human life and health above all and is following the recommendations of the experts. For its part, the ministry can support any decision made, he said.
Nevertheless the real economy may not be able to handle a second lockdown, the minister said, noting that “we, the Finance Ministry, have got the cash reserves to support any government decision. We have built strong cash reserves of 37.7 billion euros so as to support any choice made. For example, there are already additional measures in place for specific geographical areas that had not been scheduled. We are here to help in the present and the future.”
Staikouras reiterated the estimate that the contraction this year will range around 8%, and pointed to a strong rebound in 2021, thanks also to the utilization of the resources from the Next Generation EU fund.