The government’s financial measures for the economy were presented during the briefing by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.
Taking the floor first, Christos Staikouras stated that the consequences of the pandemic on a global scale are great and the outcome is uncertain.
Mr Staikouras spoke of a plan in four phases. In the first phase, in March and April, we had restrictions on the operation of businesses, as public health was given priority. As he said, tax incentives were given, among other things, while rent reductions were made.
In the second phase, which concerns the gradual reopening of businesses, he said that the government has maintained some of the measures of the first phase, extending a safety net to employees and businesses.
The third phase, from June to October, concerns the progressive recovery of the economy, based on four pillars of employment, corporate liquidity, tax measures and private debt.
The fourth phase from the autumn will have to do with the reorganization of the economy, based on policies with more permanent characteristics in the fields of the green economy, innovation and technology, so that the country can be on track.
Mr. Staikouras announced 15 meters:
- Extends the right to suspend the contract, compensation for the special purpose of tourism workers catering, transportation, culture, tourism.
- A new employment support mechanism is being created.
- Unemployment benefits are provided to seasonal workers who do not work this year.
- Possibility of suspending payment of installments of certified debts to closed companies. Suspended workers have the right to suspend installments.
- The rent reduction is extended to companies that are also affected for the month of June.
- For owners who rent real estate in affected businesses, the payment of debts is suspended.
- A second refundable deposit is granted based on the loss of turnover from March to May. The unallocated amount goes to the second phase.
- Reduction of the advance tax for businesses that will show a reduction in turnover by a percentage. The percentage will be determined in July based on turnover data.
- VAT on transport is reduced to 13%.
- VAT on coffee and non-alcoholic beverages is reduced.
- VAT is reduced on the tourist package until October 31.
- VAT in cinemas is reduced from 24% to 13% by October 31.
- The cost of scientific and technological research is deducted from business expenses.
- A national register of start-ups is being created.
- A program is being set up in which the state will subsidize those who are affected and have loans. All red loans are covered for citizens affected by the pandemic. Consistent borrowers are strengthened and all borrowers who have been affected and have a red loan are supported.
The total cost of the interventions, he said, is estimated at 24 billion euros.