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COVID-19 Cost Greece Companies 35 Billion Euros – and Counting

January 17, 2021

ATHENS – The toll is still mounting but a first lockdown in 2020 aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, which lasted 10 weeks, cost Greek businesses some 35 billion euros ($42.28 billion,) and closed many for good.

That was according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) which said it calculated as well the effect on essential businesses that were allowed to stay open as most had been closed.

That was for the period from January-September last year, the lockdown not beginning until March 23 and a second imposed on Nov. 7 only now lifting, with conditions, on Jan. 18.

Once the losses are totaled for the fourth quarter the amount is expected to surge as did a second wave of the pandemic after Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted he waited too long to bring the second lockdown.

That closed most businesses as well during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period that is a critical revenue period for them, with warnings that thousands would not reopen unless it was lifted before losses became too much to recoup.

Retail saw turnover reduced in November by 38.5 percent compared to November of the year before said Kathimerini in a report on the findings that were even more devastating for catering businesses whose income fell 54.1 percent in that period.

, whose operations have been suspended since November 3, saw turnover drop Mitsotakis, whose government last year pumped 17.5 billion euros ($21.14 billion) in subsidies for workers temporarily laid-off and their companies to prevent a collapse, now said the state will pay 80 percent of the rent of affected companies for January at least, and unemployment benefits extended another two months.

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