Gov’t support measures to exceed 14 billion euros this year, FinMin says

The cost of government support measures to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic crisis this year will exceed 14 billion euros, almost double the sum of 7.5 billion euros envisaged by the state budget, with an additional package of measures worth 1.0 billion euros for April, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Monday.

Presenting the measures, Staikouras said these will cover enterprises under mandatory suspension of operations (suspension of tax payments, reduction of rent payment for commercial rents in April by 100 pct and for workers under mandatory suspension of work a 40 pct reduction in rent payment). The Finance ministry has paid 180 million euros to property owners as compensation for rent losses. Also, the ministry offers a 30-day suspension of bank bills and cheques and a 30-day suspension of payment on VAT for these transactions.

The Greek FinMin said that the government will continue supporting the economy and the society for as long it takes and noted that funding of government measures worth 38 billion euros in the period 2020-2021 was mainly based on the prudent use of the country’s cash reserves and the low cost of borrowing from international capital markets. However, he said that the cost of borrowing was depended on domestic and external factors which are not always under control and added that “ we have to be careful and prudent to avoid any fiscal derailment”.

Speaking alongside Staikouras, Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis noted that support measures for the month of April alone come to 695 million euros.