ATHENS -- The Greek government has prepared a package of focused support measures for enterprises during the restart process in May and possibly in the following months, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said late on Monday. In comments made to ERT TV, Staikouras noted that "before we go to the next day we must first help households and enterprises stand on their feet", although he made it clear that state coffers did not have unlimited money.
He stressed that the cost of support measures so far in 2021 totaled 14 billion euros and that this money included other interventions that were not announced on Monday, such as self tests and actions to support the hospitality sector, including a GEFYRA 2 programme (state subsidy to corporate loans), covering fixed costs of enterprises and the disbursement of a 7th round of state loans to enterprises.
Staikouras underlined that even in the most adverse scenario, the government will stand by enterprises as they gradually return to normality. "Even if enterprises open in April we will have to support them but not with the same support measures. The exact mix of measures will depend on the time of opening," he noted.
The finance ministry said that the banking system has not helped small- and medium-sized enterprise as much as it could and added that the banking system is pressured through a new guarantee programme. Staikouras reiterated that 2021 will be a better year for tourism compared with 2020, although he admitted that the rate of growth will be lower than initial estimates.