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Society

Artists, Performers Abandoned, Greece Aiding Food, Beverage Businesses

ATHENS – While artists and musicians have been left essentially on their own during the near year-long COVID-19 pandemic, the New Democracy government is going to pump more aid into the food and beverage and catering sector and small businesses.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself announced four emergency measures for restaurants that have been shut half of the previous 12 months during two lockdowns that could see many never reopen.

With indications that a second wave of the Coronavirus will cause restrictions to last into the spring or even longer, the government for now is going to pay the rent for the food-and-beverage businesses for another month, said Kathimerini.

Workers from those firms laid off during their shutdown will get 500 euros a month ($602.45) while lower Value Added Tax (VAT) rates will remain for coffee and non-alcoholic beverages until Sept. 30, 2021.

Tax cuts are also seen for transport businesses as well as cinemas and movie theaters which have been closed because of their potential to spread the virus quickly in closed settings.

Mitsotakis met with representatives of food businesses amid news that banks will provide loans up to 50,000 euros ($60,245.20) to small companies whose annual turnover is under 200,000 euros ($240,980.80) involving 80,000 of them.

The loans will be state-guaranteed, with a coverage rate as high as 80 percent, which means that the collateral banks will ask for will only cover 20 percent and credit will be extended to new companies that began in 2020 or 2021.

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