"We are dealing with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic responsibly and efficiently," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Friday, addressing the Economic Affairs Committee in Parliament. Speaking during the second reading of a draft bill on microfinancing, Staikouras said that this was one of seven tools activated to support businesses and the Greek economy, adding that the government is implementing a realistic, comprehensive and dynamic plan to support the economy.
He said the government's plan was unfolding methodically and decisively and had policies that met the needs of every phase of the health crisis, while its key aims were to strengthen the public healthcare system, support employment, increase the liquidity of businesses and strengthen social cohesion.
With regard to supporting business liquidity, he said the government had activated seven major alternative and complementary tools in this direction:
These included the returnable advance, a suspension of tax and social insurance debts of households and businesses during the crisis months and their payment through low-interest settlements of up to 24 installments, subsidised interest rates for business loans relating to sectors stricken by the pandemic, working capital by the Entrepreneurship II Fund (TEPIX II), new loans through the Greek Development Bank Guarantee Fund that can be leveraged to 7.0 billion euros, while the 6th and 7th measures are a planned generous reduction of the tax advance for businesses and the microfinancing bill currently being discussed in parliament.
On the proposed legislation, Staikouras said that this will create a new framework for microcredit that will help boost the liquidity of small and very small businesses, especially.