Opposition presents 10-point economic buffer plan

Opposition presents 10-point economic buffer plan

Leftist opposition SYRIZA on Monday presented a 10-point plan to shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, drawing on funds from the cash buffer left over from Greece’s bailout, and European Union and European Central Bank resources.

The 26-billion-euro plan calls for 1 billion euros to be invested in the national health system, with the hiring of 4,000 more medical workers, additional protection for front-line personnel, central oversight of laboratory testing and special measures for the protection of vulnerable groups.

It also calls on the government to extend an amnesty against foreclosures on the primary residences of debtors beyond the end of April and to ban auctions of such foreclosed properties until the end of the year.

Disability pensions the special “solidarity” benefit for low-income households should be increased by 50 percent, at a cost of 300 million euros, SYRIZA proposed, adding that 1.5 billion euros should also be set aside in assistance for workers whose livelihoods are at risk and for unemployed people who no longer receive benefits.

An additional 8.5 billion euros should be channeled into covering the salaries and social security payments of private sector workers at shut-down businesses through end-May, as well as for bolstering self-employed professionals, the party said.

It also called for a freeze on tax obligations for six months and on bank and other debts for as long as the crisis lasts, as well as 3 billion euros in subsidies for small and mid-sized businesses that do not have access to bank loans. SMEs that can borrow, should be granted collateral from the Greek state, to the tune of 12 billion euros.

The opposition party is also seeking to speed up the disbursement of funds from the public investment program.

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