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New Covid-19 Support for 500,000 Greek Businesses

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Thursday a new round of Covid-19 support measures for some 500,000 businesses and millions of employees raising the total to 36.5 billion euros for the 2020-2021 period.

The fresh round of actions, which also provide backing to the country’s self-employed, include:

– the launch in April of the 7th round of the “repayable advance” measure for all enterprises, including retail and F&B services providers affected by lockdowns and reporting reduced turnover in January, February and March. Known in Greek as the “epistreptea prokatavoli”, the repayable advance is a tax-free, non-refundable grant in the form of a state loan

– a 30 to 50 percent exemption of the repayable advance for businesses participating in the first three rounds and which saw a significant drop in turnover in 2020. At the same time, repayment can be made in 40 to 60 instalments. If repayment is made in full, there will be a 15 percent discount

– in an attempt to save jobs, the government will cover a company’s fixed costs for 2020 which were not included in previous aid and which can serve as credit for future tax and insurance obligations allowing in this way businesses to restart activity free of debt

– a new bridge financing option aimed at self-employed and businesses.

Other measures include the deferral of March tax and social security contributions and rent exemption for professional-use properties.

Mitsotakis said that 24 billion euros were allocated last year to support employees and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the current 2.5 billion euros, bringing the total to 11.6 billion euros for 2021.

Speaking after Mitsotakis, Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the government’s measures in “this unprecedented crisis” helped contain the recession, put a brake on unemployment, limit mass liquidations, and increase bank deposits.

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