ATHENS - "Measures to tackle the crisis will be more than doubled in May, also covering the next period," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Sunday in a statement to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
The full statement of the Finance Minister follows:
"Humanity is experiencing an unprecedented health crisis. A symmetrical crisis whose duration is still unknown. The damage to the economy is getting worse as this crisis continues. Therefore serious, realistic and timely interventions are needed to mitigate the adverse social and economic consequences.
In the economic field, the government is moving fast and decisively. It is implementing a coherent and dynamic plan, supporting society and the economy, with a sense of justice, and based on the available domestic and European resources. It has, in the first phase, taken 6.8 billion-euro fiscal measures to support public health, boost corporate liquidity (through the "returnable advance" financial instrument) and support workers' income. These measures, which will run until the end of April, account for 3.5 pct of the country's GDP, a rate higher than the European average, which is almost 3 pct of GDP (yesterday's interview with Mario Centeno, head of Eurogroup).
The measures are expected to more than double in May, also covering the next period.
While they do not include the sectoral policies that are planned and implemented, in areas such as, for example, the primary sector, tourism, shipping, energy, transport, etc.
Not even the initial interventions of at least 10 billion euros to strengthen liquidity in the productive fabric of the economy, through the more flexible utilization of the NSRF, the utilization of the Special European Investment Fund to deal with the coronavirus, the creation of a guarantee mechanism (approved on Friday by the competent European bodies), the leverage of the European Investment Bank's resources.
These interventions will be strengthened as we are exiting the health crisis, while keeping 'fuels' for the post-coronavirus era.
Therefore, it is proved that the government is acting in a timely and methodical manner, with responsibility, calm and patience, with social justice and solidarity, in order to keep the country upright and alive, with our eyes on the next day of the economy."