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Economy

Greece’s Retail Market Fears Second COVID-19 Lockdown The End

ATHENS – After most restaurants in Greece's capital said they won't offer delivery or takeaway during a second COVID-19 lockdown – many having already closed for good – retail stores said they too face being wiped out.

The New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis imposed a three-week shutdown for most non-essential businesses beginning Nov. 7 but after a 10-week lockdown in March many businesses said closing again will see them not survive.

Mitsotakis said the government, which is offering subsidies to workers and businesses to keep them afloat during the shutdown, wanted to try to save the critical holiday shopping season to save a faltering economy.

Many small and medium-sized enterprises couldn't recoup losses when the first lockdown ended, limiting customers because of social distancing requirements and with many people reluctant to go to mass gathering areas.

The decision to shut all retail businesses again with the exception of food stores, pet shops and pharmacies will have a chain reaction on sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale commerce and food service, said Kathimerini.

The paper said oderate estimates by market professionals put the cost of the November lockdown at up to 5 billion euros ($5.94 billion) for the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 168.7 billion euros ($200.3 billion.)

That's on top of the first lockdown shock, fewer customers in between and many businesses saying they can't make it with just online shopping orders, especially with the lockdown blacking out the big Nov. 27 Black Friday shopping day.

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