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Politics

Georgiadis: Final Decisions on Opening of Restaurants in Greece to Be Announced Next Week

ATHENS – Τhe final announcement regarding the operation of restaurants and other catering businesses will be announced next week, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said on Friday, in an interview with TV Open.

"Our aim is to allow restaurants to have as many tables as possible with the highest degree of health protection, in order for the catering businesses to be able to operate, to be viable and to preserve jobs," he said, saying the ministry was hoping to allow as much as 80 pct of normal seating capacity.

Referring to banks, he said he was not satisfied with the way that the flow of cash from banks was happening and said that a government negotiation via video conference was held to present banks with very specific terms. "…We are constantly monitoring the implemlentation [of these terms] having set a specific timetable," he added.

Commenting on new financing instruments, he said the system was temporarily shut down after applications for loans amounting to 5.5 billion euros were submitted. "We are no longer monitoring loan applications but disbursements. Banks claim that these are satisfactory, given the few days at their disposal, but I would to see more and that is where there is a back-and-forth between us," Georgiadis explained.

The minister said that the government has made clear to banks the role they must play in restarting the economy:

"It was made absolutely clear to banks that they have now undertaken the responsibility of channelling approximately 15 billion euros to the real economy over the next weeks. If they succeed, good for them. If we see that they are not managing to do this…the state has the so-called 'imperium'. I do not like state intervention beyond a certain point, I want a stable banking system and I respect banking criteria… but there exists here the salus populi suprema lex esto. Banking rules and criteria are all very well but ultimately it is the saving of people that is the highest law, so the money will be disbursed," he concluded.

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