Aiming to retain jobs and keep businesses above water during a resurgence of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Greek government announced this week that it would be releasing a package 2.5 billion euros in relief aid which includes the extension of 534-euro special-purpose handout for two more months.
Of the 2.5-billion-euro package, 1.5 billion will be released in November with the remainder by the end of the year.
The support measures concern 522 business activities (KAD) and employees impacted by the new lockdowns or restrictions which went into effect on Tuesday countrywide to curb a second more aggressive round of Covid-19 infections.
The announced actions include:
– A 534-euro special-purpose subsidy to employees out of job due to business closure.
– The extension of VAT payments for areas color coded red on the risk-assessment map. The measure will be extended to orange areas.
– Deferment of payments and flexible payment terms with regard to state loans for businesses and the self-employed.
– 50 percent of the refundable advance payment to be paid in December will be subsidized.
– Flexible payment terms with regard to tax and debt payments after the grace period expires, including a 12-month, interest-free repayment schedule, or a 24-month plan with a 2.5 percent interest for March-June 2020 obligations.
– 40 percent rent reduction for companies hit by Covid-19 in color coded red areas (for at least 14 days) and among the 522 listed business activities. The measure also applies to employees with suspended contracts and students.
These areas are: Attica, Evros, Rodopi, Xanthi, Kavala, Drama, Serres, Kilkis, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Pella, Imathia, Pieria, Florina, Kastoria, Kozani, Ioannina, Trikala, Larissa, Viotia and Cyclades. The state offers a 30 percent tax deduction to property owners. Enterprises in yellow zone, can negotiate a rent reduction of at least 30 percent with landlords.
Meanwhile, property owners have reacted strongly against the measure with the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA) sending a letter of complaint to the finance ministry.
Other plans of the government into 2021 include maintaining the reduced corporate income tax deposit, set to be announced at the end of the year.
Greece recorded 2,166 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 595 of which in Thessaloniki and 542 in the wider Athens area.