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Economy

COVID-19 Not Going Aware, But Greek Economy Coming Back

ATHENS – Helped by government and European Union subsidies, Greece's economy, battered by lockdowns over the past 1 ½ years aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of a slow comeback.

The June state budget figures showed a marked improvement in revenues and was a likely indicator that the economy will pick up again, although there's worry that the Delta variant could spike COVID cases again and bring more business restrictions.

Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis said the key to getting the ball rolling again is for people to be vaccinated although only some 45 percent are fully protected and 70 percent is needed to beat back the pandemic.

Skylakakis said that tax revenue totaled 3.332 billion euros ($3.94 billion) in June, some 3% above the budget target. Ministry sources said the goal set for tourism revenue this year, of 45 percent of the record 2019, was still achievable.

The EU is providing Greece with 32 billion euros ($37.82 billion) in loans and grants after the New Democracy government in 2020 alone put more than 17 billion euros ($20.09 billion) into relief for workers temporarily out of work during lockdowns and to their businesses shut down during that time.

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