Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has now put forward twelve new support measures by his administration in support of businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. According to the reports, the new measures, including tax cuts, employment subsidies, and extension of reduced VAT on transport and travel packages, will come to a total €6.8 billion euros.
At a speaking engagement at the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum this past weekend, Mr. Mitsotakis laid out the new measures as “12 steps of confidence”, which are for supporting employment, boosting the liquidity of businesses, and supporting the income of vulnerable groups. The PM was cited by GTP saying:
“These are twelve steps of confidence that form a roadmap for the coming months, but also for 2021, so that the economy stays standing for further reorganization and development.”
The 12 steps are:
1. Insurance contributions by employers and employees of the private sector will be reduced by three units in 2021. This will amount to a 36.7 percent reduction. (An employee with a net salary of 1,016 euros will have an annual benefit of 158 euros. The company will benefit by 301 euros.)
2. The solidarity levy is to be suspended for a year for private-sector employees, the self-employed, and farmers.
3. A subsidy program for 100,000 new job positions will be established. For each new employee hired, the state will cover the insurance contributions of the employee and employer, provided that no jobs are cut. A company that will hire a long-term unemployed person will have a subsidy of 200 euros.
4. The Syn-Ergasia employment program for businesses is to be extended until the end of 2020.
5. The third phase of the repayable advance measure will open mainly for small enterprises active in the fields of food and beverage, tourism, transport, culture, and sports. A fourth phase will follow in November worth €600 million euros.
6. There will be the introduction of an over-depreciation measure for 3 years (2021-2023) at 200 percent for digital and green fixed capital investments.
7. Retroactive pension payments of €1.4 billion euros will take place in October, while 460 million will be paid to beneficiaries in December due to Greece’s new way of calculating pensions.
8. The unified property tax (ENFIA) will be abolished from 2020 for 26 small Greek islands, including Kastelorizo, Ai Strati and Gavdos.
9. A suspension of debt payments (tax, insurance contributions) until April 2021 will be instituted for those employed in affected sectors affected during the crisis.
10. The reduced VAT on transport, coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, cinemas and tourism services (travel packages) is extended for six months.
11. Auctions of main residences of vulnerable households will be suspended until the end of 2020. As of January 2021, vulnerable citizens will have the opportunity to join a new debt settlement scheme that will be announced.
12. All unemployment benefits that have just expired are extended for another 2 months and the number of stamps required for the granting of the aid is reduced to 50, instead of 100.