Greece Extends Unemployment, Other Coronavirus-Related Financial Measures



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It was announced that a new financial package addressing the many economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will be presented to Greece’s Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras, on Tuesday.

The details of the package include an extension in unemployment benefits for the next two months, through September, and tallowing businesses to continue to suspend employee contracts through the month of November.

According to Greek media sources, there are no new measures; rather, the already-existing regulations meant to cushion the blow of the economic impacts of the coronavirus which have proven successful will simply be extended further.

The measures to be put on the table today at the Finance Ministry include the start of the third phase of repayable advances, to begin in September. At the end of the this next phase it is estimated that the cost of the program will amount to three billion euros.

Businesses in the hospitality/tourism, culture and sports sectors will be given the chance to place their employees on leave for another two months, through November. This was deemed necessary because of the continued downturn in revenues in these areas because of the severe decrease in tourism this summer.

Greek unemployment benefits will also be extended another two months under the new plan, regardless of how long someone has been unemployed, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Retroactive pensions will also be made in a lump sum at some point in the Autumn, according to the Ministry, which are expected to cost 1.4 billion euros.

The Finance Ministry has stated that revenues for the month of August are estimated to reflect the numbers seen in July, which would mean a decrease of 15% from normal levels. However, cash flow is high and public finances are “resilient” at present.

Of course, there is no way of knowing just how long this economic downturn will last.

Further funding from the European Union is expected to enter Greek coffers at the end of September.