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Greek Finance Minister Announces Additional Support Measures During Lockdown

Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced a package of additional financial support measures on Thursday which will be adopted during the heightened measures against the pandemic, after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the new lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
It was also announced today that Deputy Civil Protection and Crises Management Minister Nikos Hardalias and Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis, along with the general secretary of Trade and Consumer Portection Panagiotis Staboulidis, will lay out the parameters of new protection measures at 6:00 PM.
Staikouras Says Government Will Extend, Expand and Enrich Support Package
The Finance Minister stated that the government will extend, expand, enrich and strengthen the support package for employees and enterprises to mitigate the economic effects of the restriction measures for the pandemic which were announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at noon.
Staikouras, speaking to Greece’s public broadcaster ERT, underscored that the support measures will take four forms: to support workers, help businesses liquidity, to suspend tax obligations and to reduce rents.
According to the Minister, there are sufficient cash reserves, which today stand at 37 billion euros, the same as at the beginning of the health crisis, to support a large part of society even in the worst-case scenario.
“We fill the coffers and we offer them to the real economy,” he said in explanation of the new measures.
Staikouras estimated that a full lockdown will cost over 2.3 billion euros while the final draft of the 2021 state budget will include a revised forecast for a deeper recession this year. He clarified, however, that in 2021 there will at least be no fiscal rules and targets in Europe, which will mean there will be fiscal flexibility in the economy.
Meanwhile, the European Commission released its report on the health of the Greek economy on Thursday, which stated that the economy would contract nine percent in 2020.

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