The European Council has approved the EU’s SURE scheme to protect thousands of workers at risk because of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan is a temporary support instrument of €100 billion euros to prop support jobs.
The program will provide as much as €100 billion euros of loans under favorable terms to EU countries, in order to help address the rise in public spending on account of the pandemic. The plan covers costs related to the creation or extension of national short-time work schemes, as well as other similar emergency measures that have been put in place for the self-employed.
Once states make the SURE requests, the procedure involves consultation and assessment of the public expenditure increase directly related to pandemic-induced needs to be followed by a proposal. Zdravko Maric, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of finance of Croatia had this to add via the commission press:
The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an exceptional challenge for Europe, as it puts many lives and livelihoods at risk. Beyond the public health implications, the outbreak has also caused massive economic and social disruption with many companies having to rely on public support to preserve employment. SURE will be a vital safety net to protect jobs and workers as it will ensure that member states have the necessary means to finance measures to tackle unemployment and loss of income, as well as some health-related measures.
The EU’s SURE scheme is one of the three safety nets worth €540 billion euros, which are meant to protect jobs and workers, businesses, and member states. According to the reports, the package should to be operational by 1 June 2020.
Later today, Greek Prime Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce the government’s action plan for salvaging the 2020 tourism year. Greece is expected to tap into the SURE program to retain jobs and salaries in the sector, a key driver of the economy, and the hardest-hit from Covid-19. Greece is hoping to tap into the program for about €1.5 billion euros to continue bolstering employment.