Greece presents new coronavirus relief program
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek Prime Minister presented a new package of 2.5 billion euros ($ 3 billion) relief measures for businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns .
Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday that the new stimulus package would bring relief to more than 500,000 businesses and the self-employed, and millions of workers. The country has been subject to various forms of lockdown restrictions since early November, with retail businesses and restaurants closed and strict limits on travel outside the home.
The new package brings the total funds provided for pandemic relief measures to € 11.6 billion so far in 2021, Mitsotakis said, adding that € 24 billion has been spent to support the companies and workers in 2020.
The Greek economy experienced an estimated contraction of 8.2% in 2020, below the 10.5% initially forecast.
“Our goal now is for the productive sector to remain standing until the end of the ordeal,” Mitsotakis said.
The new measures include a new round of interest-free loans for companies with declining turnover in the first quarter of the year, and the possibility in some cases that up to 50% of those loans will go unpaid. and therefore turn into subsidies.
A rent waiver for affected businesses is also extended for March, while the credit is extended for taxes and social security contributions. Loan repayment assistance will be provided.
The measures, Mitsotakis said, “set the stage for our safe transition into the post-coronavirus era.”
Greece has seen a wave of coronavirus infections and deaths in recent months, with its hospitals coming under increasing pressure, especially in the wider Athens region. As of Wednesday evening, the country of about 11 million people had recorded just over 212,000 cases of coronavirus in total and 6,886 deaths since the start of the pandemic. So far, nearly 1.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, with more than 383,000 people fully vaccinated with both doses.
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