Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announces new government support measures for businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
YPOIK stated in its announcements:
Worldwide, restrictions on market operation, due to the transmission and mutations of coronavirus disease, expand, with significant negative consequences for the real economy.
In our country, after the latest decisions in the field of health, the total cost of the pandemic, in a monthly basis, calculated at 2,4 billion. euro.
Higher than Budget estimates.
Indicatively, the decisions of the latter 2 weeks added, per month, about 750 million. euro budget costs.
This leads to the need for more, more immediate, but also more targeted support to households and businesses.
Utilizing the cash of the country, that with responsibility and housekeeping, is managed and "built" by the Greek Government.
As the latest debt issue has shown, made at the lowest cost our country has ever borrowed.
Which is a proof of the international trust towards Greece and the economic policy that it follows.
The Ministry of Finance and the Government will be close to society for as long as needed.
Nevertheless, the resources available are not unlimited.
Therefore, prudence is required, composure and insight.
Data which, proven, the Government has.
Because if we had heard some irresponsible voices of uncontrollable bidding, who have been saying the same thing for a year now, now we would be at a dead end, without being able to support society.
With the policy pursued, the Ministry of Finance currently has the ability to implement, expand and enrich household and business support measures.
These are distributed bravely, but not recklessly.
Mostly with justice and targeting those who are proven to be affected.
Everything you need, to whom it should, when and as it should be.
The 5 measures announced by Christos Staikouras
1ον. All companies whose operation is currently suspended by order of a public authority, such as focus, the gyms, the enterprises of culture, sports and other industries, as well as companies active in tourism and transport - sectors that are particularly affected by the health crisis - are entitled to a full exemption from paying rent in their commercial real estate for the month of March.
Businesses that will receive a full rent exemption for the month of March include retail.
Owners - natural persons who lease real estate to these companies, will be reimbursed by the State Budget with 80% of the monthly agreed rent, while the owners - legal entities will be compensated with 60% of the monthly agreed rent.
The provision for rent reduction by 40% in the other affected sectors, for the entire 1st quarter 2021, as well as in the first residence of the employees whose employment contract is suspended and in the student residence of their children.
The cost, for the month of March, is formed in 70 million. euro.
2ον. In everything,as far as property owners are concerned, who carry - with a sense of social responsibility - a significant financial burden, until today:
• Offset, in 227.887 cases, amount of tax debts 42,8 million. euro.
• Paid, in 176.404 VAT number, amount compensation 19,3 million. euros for the month of November.
• Completion of the process, in February, for set-offs of previous months, either due to the correction of beneficiary statements or due to the rejection of other applications.
• Completion of the compensation process for the month of November, the next few days, given that approximately 25.000 applications have not submitted a valid IBAN account number.
• Payment of compensation for the month of December, after mid-February.
• Start of the declaration process by owners - until next week - for the month of January, so that at the beginning of March this month is also paid.
It is recalled that the amounts of compensation paid to the accounts of the beneficiaries are tax-free and unsecured.
The amounts of rents that are not collected for the entire period from March onwards, are not income and are not subject to income tax and solidarity contribution.
3ον. The reduction of VAT rates on coffee and non-alcoholic beverages is extended, in transport, in cinemas and theatrical performances, until 30 September 2021.
The reduced rate covers all the transport of persons and their luggage, that is, any kind of transport of persons, such as land or air, which are made with a ticket for the passenger.
Also included are the transfers of persons made by tourist buses and by taxi.
In addition, VAT reduction in the tourist package is extended until 31 December 2021.
The additional cost is set at 125 million. euro.
4ον. It is paid, in the week, the remaining amount of the 5th cycle of the Refundable Advance.
It is recalled that to date, in just the last few days, paid over 1 billion. euros in 344.885 businesses and freelancers.
With the data so far, since today the relevant platform closes, payment pending approx 200 million. euros in 15.000 businesses, most of which are start-ups, following a recent addition by the Ministry of Finance to include them.
In the week, and for only a few days, will be able to correct the VAT return for OPAP agencies, to include in the repayable deposit those of which to date have been rejected and show a decrease in turnover.
Alongside, to accelerate the liquidity of the sectors most affected by the economic impact of the pandemic, the 6th cycle of the Refundable Advance is divided into two cycles, the 6th and the 7th, and total funding increases to 1,5 billion. euro.
The 6th cycle, with an estimated budgetary cost of approximately 500 million. euro, will concern the loss of turnover only in January.
The submission of applications for interest will start by next Monday, and the aid will be granted in the first days of March.
As the aid concerns one month, the aid threshold for sectors not closed by state mandate, amounts to 500 euros and the maximum amount of aid in 50.000 euro.
Freelancers without employees will receive from 500 to 1.000 euro, depending on the decline in their revenue.
Especially for the catering and the branches that remained closed at the end of January, the minimum amount of aid will be 1.000 euros for companies without employees, 2.000 euros for businesses with 1 to 5 employees, 4.000 euros for businesses with 6 to 20 employees and 8.000 euros for businesses with more than 20 employees.
The 50% of the aid is not refundable, provided the number of employees is maintained until 31 July 2021.
With today's data, the 7th cycle, at a budgetary cost of approximately 1 billion. euro, will relate to the loss of turnover of the entire 1st quarter 2021, where the amounts given in the 6th cycle will be taken into account.
The payment of the aid will be made in April.
Again there will be increased minimum amounts for catering and businesses that remain closed by state order within February.
The 50% of the aid will not be refunded.
So, the total liquidity injection to businesses, through the successful Repayable Advance measure, is expected to touch 3 billion. euros in the first four months of the year, and in total 8,5 billion. since the beginning of the health crisis.
5ον. Until tomorrow, at 10.00 in the morning, can the 24.000 beneficiaries of the heating allowance, who had not declared their IBAN on myTaxisnet, to do it, to deposit the relevant amount in their bank account.
Already 3.000 of these they did, in the weekend.
The credit of the amount to the specific beneficiaries will take place tomorrow afternoon.
Until today, have been repaid 355.314 beneficiaries, that is, the 94% those who made purchases up to 31 December 2020, with the total amount exceeding 42 million. euro.
So, the total cost of the measures already taken or announced today, for the first quarter of the year, including measures for the employed and unemployed, suspensions and other interventions, is now formed in 5,9 billion. euro.
More than Budget estimates.
It turns out that, as the Ministry of Finance, we react immediately, supporting, to the maximum extent possible, households and businesses.
We have a sense of responsibility.
We hear the pulse of society, we understand and recognize the difficulties, we understand the concerns, we respect the citizens' anxieties.
We manage the consequences of the crisis flexibly.
We act calmly and in a structured way.
We highlight, together with society, endurance.
We are proving ourselves as a country, with society at the forefront, that we can do it!