The Greek Finance Ministry announced a series of relief measures aimed at assisting areas that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, the following support measures will apply for Level 4 (very high risk) cities or regions:
– 50 percent of the refundable advance payment to be paid in December will be subsidized,
– employees have the option to enter the suspended contract program with full coverage of insurance contributions and a monthly subsidy of 534 euros,
– self-employed, scientists/researchers, and businesses with up to 20 employees are eligible for the monthly 534-euro special purpose subsidy,
– VAT payments have been suspended,
– rents will be reduced by 40 percent for affected employees and business owners.
For Level 3 areas, the government will cover 30 percent of the refundable advance payment with the remaining 70 percent to be repaid as foreseen by the law.
Currently, Kozani is the only Level 4 region in Greece, with Attica, and other regions currently at Level 3. The National Public Health Organization (EODY) said 438 new Covid-19 cases had been found on Sunday. Areas recording the highest number of incidents were Attica, Ioannina, Kastoria, Kozani, Larissa, and Thessaloniki, which will be the subject of an emergency teleconference later today between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Thessaloniki Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Zervas.
Epidemiologists are now concerned about the drop in temperatures and the concentration of more people indoors, which they warn could lead to a further increase in coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, Staikouras estimated that 2020 will see a recession of 8.2 percent.