Greece announced new tax breaks and economic assistance to thousands of businesses and workers on Monday to buffer its economy from a national lockdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Greece’s economy is expected to contract by 3.0 per cent in 2020 due the spread of coronavirus, according to government estimates.
The country emerged from its third international bailout in 2018 after a decade-long debt crisis, reports Reuters.
“We respect the Greek people’s huge sacrifices in recent years...we are implementing policies to keep the economy alive,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said. The impact was expected to be short term, he said.
Greece imposed stringent restrictions on movement, ordered businesses to close and largely sealed its borders to stave off the spread of the illness.
The support measures include a one-off benefit for 1.7 million, or 81 per cent of private sector workers whose jobs are temporarily suspended and payment of their social security contributions for 45 days.
It would also extend financial aid for the self employed and suspend VAT and tax arrear payments for 800,000 businesses.
The total amount spent to deal with the impact of coronavirus has risen to 6.8 billion euros or 3.5 per cent of economic output.
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