The Greek government will offer 800 euros in compensation to all workers whose labour contract was suspended because of the suspension of operations of their enterprise, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a news conference, Staikouras said that the compensation will be paid in early April, covering around 500,000 workers at a cost of around 400 million euros. He noted that the Greek state will fully cover all social insurance, pension and health rights of workers and their social insurance contributions based on their nominal wages. The fiscal cost for these 500,000 workers in the period March-April will be around 450 million euros. He also announced that for these workers, all tax payments will be suspended for a period of four months.
Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Wednesday announced a package of six financial instruments as part of the second set of financial measures to tackle the effects of the spread of coronavirus.
The minister emphasised that all measures are related to preserving jobs.
Before announcing the measures, he stressed that the market was normalised and added: "We will all come out of this crisis and no one will be left behind, we are all judged, government, business, working citizens."
The measures announced are the following:
1. An amount of 800 euros will be granted at the beginning of April to the self-employed for the period March 15-April 30.
2. An interest rate subsidy for up-to-date business loans for 3 months for the sectors of the economy that are directly affected by the coronavirus. Should the crisis continue, the measure may be extended further. In consultation with the banks that have already announced it, the payment of such debts is postponed until 30/9/2020.
3. In consultation with the European Commission, for the start-up period of the economy, a guarantee mechanism for lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, up to 3 billion euros, will be launched.
4. The European Investment Bank will provide banks with liquidity for new business loans of 2 billion euros.
5. In cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group, a guarantee mechanism for loans of up to 500 million euros shall be established.
6. The Entrepreneurial Fund of the Hellenic Development Bank is simplified and its resources are increased by 250 million euros to provide new loans to corporations affected by the coronavirus, with a 100 percent interest rate subsidy for two years.