Employee and business support measures in high-risk areas 4 announced in time by the government but is insufficient, at least in everything,regarding the case of P.E.. Kozani.
The master plan of de-lignification, recently published, accurately records the situation in our place, παρέχοντας έγκυρα στοιχεία των σημαντικότερων δεικτών οικονομικής δραστηριότητας εδώ και σε σύγκριση με την υπόλοιπη χώρα.
Three elements of the report deserve everyone's attention and especially the government's:
- The available local income while over time followed the fluctuations of the national GDP, from 2015 and to this day is declining rapidly, unlike the rest of the country. The development is due almost exclusively to the reduction of lignite production by 50% the last five years.
- The sad first in unemployment that has characterized the region for many years, is overburdened by the lack of seasonal labor supply. So, at about 19.000 registered with OAED 15.000 are long-term unemployed, ie percentage 80%! Everywhere in the country the long-term unemployment rate ranges from single digits to 20%.
- Population shrinkage, the aging of the age pyramid and the deterioration of the corresponding education, are natural consequences of the above and are recorded in relief in the introduction of the master plan.
The data today is even more unfavorable as every month hundreds of employees are fired who worked either in the construction of the Ptolemaida V unit, or to PPC contractors, whose scope has shrunk dramatically since the decision to violently de-ligate. They will have been added to the OAED tables 4.000 unemployed until the end 2021 and a few hundred, the most specialized, are already looking for work in other parts of the country reinforcing the vicious cycle of unemployment-population bleeding.
From the beginning of the crisis, the 2010, The market world is silently living its own drama as traders, professionals and scientists give their personal struggle to keep their business or activity afloat on terms unparalleled anywhere in the country. They are struggling to stand up in an area where a 4th memorandum was effectively imposed in 2015 and a 5th the 2019 and thousands of employees working in their companies are struggling and anxious with them. The possibility of starting a padlock domino in local businesses is very close, as the first phase of the pandemic showed and equates to the slow death of the area.
In this reality it was imposed on the P.E.. Kozani the second lockdown and therefore the measures of financial support with targeted and not horizontal interventions should be of similar seriousness. A tight schedule with hierarchical priorities is required
- maintaining jobs
- strengthening the unemployed
- business relief and
- the restart of the local economy
Based on the specifics of the area, existing tools and available national and European resources the following measures are proposed.
1.The state in a simple and transparent way, covers the 40 % of employees' salary for 12 months in companies affected. Coverage is calculated based on the average salary in the private sector. The number of aids per company corresponds to the number of employees it has suspended, based on the ERGANI system data, which are available. The measure also includes companies that, although not closed, show a decrease in turnover. Prerequisites are no layoffs for 12 months and no adverse conversion of employment contracts in the same period. (Cost 40 from euros – SURE program).
2.Extraordinary allowance 500 euros to all the long-term unemployed before Christmas to stimulate the market (cost 7,5 of euro-national resources)
3.Allowance in the same category 2021 with income criteria from 500-1500 euro (cost 15,0 of euro-national resources).
- Increase in 50 million euros of the business support program of the Region by expanding the criteria, to subsidize even very small businesses (NSRF).
- Extension of the repayable advance criteria so that in the 4th phase where non-refund is provided 50% of the advance to involve as many local companies as possible. Businesses that are not included in the KAD April but show a decrease in turnover, which is the basic criterion of returnable, should be included (State budget-reserve).
- Budget increase in the SAVE-AUTONOMOUS program from 90 in 300 million euros for Western Macedonia. It is the most effective measure to boost employment and restart the real economy and the only one that has been specifically proposed to date (NSRF).
Ο χαρακτήρας της κρίσης στον τόπο μας δεν αντιμετωπίζεται με αποσπασματικές λογικές ούτε με οριζόντια μέτρα. We need courage in formulating proposals and sensitivity in the weakest, but mainly a decision that the struggle to keep the place upright and to have perspective, we will all give it together. Our local market and its people have priority today. Their anguish and struggle concerns us all.