minfin.gr (24.03.2020) All employees for whom their employment contract is temporarily suspended, due to the suspension of the operation of the company with a state mandate, will receive compensation in early April, from the state budget, amounting to 800 euros. The measure concerns about 500,000 workers, at a cost of about 400m euros. The State fully covers the insurance, pension and health rights of employees and their insurance contributions, based on their total nominal salary. At the same time, for these employees, the payment of March tax liabilities is suspended for 4 months. For self-employed persons and sole proprietorships operating in sectors where there is a drastic reduction in economic activity due to the emergence and spread of the coronation, all tax liabilities, payable in March, are deferred for 4 months.
A transfer of Euro 800 (made in early April) to about 500,000 employees in companies/businesses closed because of COVID (also self-employed workers). Government also fully covers the payment of their social security contributions.
The Government's fight against the spread of the corona, but also its consequences, has started in time, it is multi-layered, well planned and decisive.
Protecting human life and protecting the good of public health are priorities!
And then comes the economy.
On this occasion, I call on all citizens, once again, to show individual responsibility, collective consciousness and solidarity, in order to overcome the extremely difficult period, at the lowest individual and social costs.
We all need calm, alertness and self-discipline.
In the field of economics, the Government acts methodically and effectively.
This was proved by the decision of the Eurogroup the day before yesterday.
A decision that completely covered the Greek priorities.
I repeat its main features:
1st Reducing revenues and boosting unemployment benefits due to shrinking economic activity will be taken into account, for all Member States, in fiscal rules and objectives, reducing them.
Therefore, the target for a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP for Greece does not exist this year.
2nd In addition, it was agreed that the fiscal implications of the interim fiscal measures taken to address the health crisis, such as interventions to curb the spread and treatment of the disease, to boost liquidity in businesses and the affected sectors, and for employment and income support will be excluded from the assessment of compliance with fiscal rules.
Therefore, these specific expenses are also excluded from any fiscal performance of Greece.
3rd At European level, coordinated initiatives are being taken to complement the national measures.
- The European Commission is setting up a special investment fund, with resources to be channeled into healthcare systems, small and medium-sized enterprises, the labor market and other vulnerable sectors of the economy.
- The European Investment Bank is mobilizing financial resources to provide working capital and to promote additional investment, with the aim of strengthening businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The European Commission is taking advantage of all the opportunities for flexibility in the field of government aid, while speeding up the approval process.
In conclusion, our country, on an equal footing, now has the necessary degrees of flexibility in order to undertake, in a coordinated and targeted manner, initiatives to reduce the social and economic consequences of the spread of the corona.
Last week, we announced the first batch of measures.
I remind you, measures such as:
1st Strengthening the health system, with at least € 200 million, in addition to the current budget of the Ministry of Health.
Whatever the Ministry of Health needs, as additional funding to deal with the spread of coronary heart disease, it will have it!
2nd The enactment of access to work facilities for working parents with children, through flexibility in terms of working hours, facilitation of remote work and the possibility of obtaining a special purpose leave.
The State participates in the distribution of costs.
3rd The possibility of suspending the payment of tax and insurance obligations to companies that have closed with a state decision.
Today, we announce the second set of measures, based on the decisions of the Eurogroup.
Measures that have been systematically and methodically processed in the previous period by the Ministries of Finance, Development and Investment and Labor and Social Affairs.
I will address the key issues, and my dear Colleagues will develop and add elements and policies.
1st Suspension of business taxes and levies.
The measures all concern, however, the companies that belong to the sectors that are severely affected due to the appearance and spread of the coronary artery.
The measures are horizontal, as they concern all companies with specific Code of Activity Code (CAD), whether they remain open, or operate part of their activity, or close with a state mandate, or close on their own initiative.
They do not concern the whole economy!
The KAD will be determined by the Ministry of Finance, based on the daily data of electronic transactions that it has, in combination with the relevant decisions for the prohibition of the operation of specific branches that have been issued.
The implementation period of the measures concerns the month of March, and, if required, an extension will be granted.
For all companies in these sectors, the following payments are suspended for 4 months, ie until July 31 for March debts, without interest and surcharges:
- The payment of debts that have been confirmed by VAT returns, payable in March.
- The payment of any kind of confirmed debts to the Tax Authorities or the Control Centers.
- The payment of installments of installments of partial payment of certified debts.
For the insurance funds, the Minister Mr. Vroutsis will be mentioned.
It is emphasized that the condition for the suspension of the tax and insurance obligations of the companies is the maintenance of the existing jobs!
It is estimated that the operation of a total of about 220,000 private companies, with about 600,000 employees, has been suspended.
At the same time, at least 100,000 additional businesses, with more than 200,000 non-government employees, are being severely affected by the economic impact of the coronation, and will be included in the measure.
2nd Business financing.
We will implement an expanded funding framework, in the form of a refundable deposit, with an extended repayment horizon and grace period, for all companies that are severely affected by the occurrence and spread of corona, totaling € 1 billion.
The amount of funding available will take into account the reduction in the turnover of the companies, as well as the wage and non-wage costs of the employees who are employed.
The grant framework will be specialized in the coming days and Deputy Minister Mr. Skylakakis will be placed on it.
A prerequisite for obtaining this funding is, again, the maintenance of existing jobs.
They will be followed, as you will soon hear by the Minister Mr. Georgiadis, and other initiatives to strengthen the liquidity of businesses.
All employees for whom their employment contract is temporarily suspended, due to the suspension of the operation of the company with a state mandate, will receive compensation in early April, from the state budget, amounting to 800 euros.
The measure concerns about 500,000 workers, at a cost of about 400m euros.
The State fully covers the insurance, pension and health rights of employees and their insurance contributions, based on their total nominal salary.
The fiscal cost, for March and April, for the approximately 500,000 employees is about 450m euros.
At the same time, for these employees, the payment of March tax liabilities is suspended for 4 months.
4th Freelancers, self-employed and sole proprietorships.
For self-employed persons and sole proprietorships operating in sectors where there is a drastic reduction in economic activity due to the emergence and spread of the coronation, all tax liabilities, payable in March, are deferred for 4 months.
The compensation of these and other insurance provisions will be announced by Mr. Georgiadis and Mr. Vroutsis.
5th In addition to these 2 billion euros, 1.8 billion euros will be allocated through the special European investment fund.
Fund set up last week to deal with the effects of coronary heart disease.
The use of the relevant resources will be immediate.
Already, today, relevant discussions are taking place, on specific Greek proposals, at European level.
According to the Eurogroup's decision, this amount can finance various actions, such as business liquidity, employment support and employee income.
Overall, the liquidity of the companies will be further strengthened, with the optimal combination of resources from the Public Investment Program, the NSRF, the Hellenic Development Bank and the European Investment Bank Group, in order to ensure maximum profit.
Minister Georgiadis will address them.
6th VAT is reduced to 6% from 24% on products that are necessary to protect against coronavirus and to prevent its transmission.
In particular, the rate is reduced to 6% in products such as:
(a) masks and gloves,
(b) antiseptic solutions, wipes and other preparations,
(c) soap and other preparations for personal hygiene, and
( d) ethyl alcohol, as long as it is used as a raw material by the industry for the production of antiseptics.
The addition of these items to the overflowing VAT rate, which will be valid until the end of the year, aims to reduce the purchase cost of products necessary for personal hygiene and personal protection, in order to stop the spread of coronary heart disease.
7th. We are intervening in the real estate market, in a logic of sharing the weight of this difficult situation.
Specifically, for companies that must stop their activities due to the spread of the coronation, it will be provided, legally, that they will pay 60% of the rent of the commercial property, in case they rent it, for the months of March and April.
The same applies to employees of companies that must stop their activities due to the spread of the coronation and their employment contract is suspended, if it is a first home.
At the same time, however, for the owners of the properties in the above cases, it is foreseen the suspension of payments of their tax liabilities and the payments of installments of regulations of partial payment of certified debts, for 4 months.
8th. Given the current unfavorable conditions and the impossibility of continuing the appraisal process, we decided to extend the appraisal exercise in the context of the reform for the new objective values.
Therefore, taking into account the new forecasts for the completion of the reform, we have decided that ENFIA of 2020 will be based on the previous regime and that the new objective ones will be valid from next year.
9th. The Independent Public Revenue Authority immediately repays all overdue liabilities to citizens and businesses, returning the amounts of all cases under control, amounting to 30,000 euros.
At the same time, it is simplifying the procedures to avoid delays and to deprive the real economy of liquidity.
As of February 25, the date of issue of the first Act of Legislative Content, by March 13, 218 million euros have been repaid.
The effort continues and will intensify.
10th The banking system must also contribute to this effort.
Banks are already suspending bankruptcy payments for consistent businesses until September.
The facility concerns legal entities belonging to the sectors directly affected by the current crisis.
But banks need to move on to other interventions for individuals as well.
At the same time, with the help of financial instruments, the liquidity of companies should be strengthened through banks.
Finally, I asked, and we agreed, with the Hellenic Banks Association to identify basic daily transactions, which do not require a physical presence in the store.
The stores will remain open, but the Union will issue a statement restricting direct transactions to protect the health of workers and traders.
Finally, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission proceeded with precautionary measures to protect the Stock Exchange.
These are the 10 main axes of the second package of measures of the Greek Government.
We are at the beginning of the battle.
A battle that we do not yet know its intensity and extent.
Therefore, other package measures will follow, in order to emerge victorious from the battle, with the least possible social and economic losses.
We are doing our best!
Solidarity co-responsibility, in the face of the health crisis we are facing, is the key link in the social cohesion that should exist and be strengthened in the coming hours.
This means that each of us has a serious responsibility.
The employer assumes the obligation to maintain jobs, non-dismissals and respect for the maintenance of labor peace.
The employee undertakes to adapt to this difficult work environment, and to show tolerance until the crisis is overcome.
And the state undertakes, against all odds, to create a safe environment for dealing with these extremely difficult and extraordinary conditions.
We must overcome the crisis together!
With the cost fairly distributed to society!
And in solidarity!
We will make it!