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Economy

Greek Finance Minister Presents Third Phase of Economic Support Measures

ATHENS – Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Wednesday presented a new package of "15 policies" to be implemented from June until October 30 in the framework of the third phase of a plan for economic recovery.

The new package includes, among others, a reduction of VAT on transport, coffee and beverages, tourist packages and cinemas until October 31.

Staikouras said the measures currently implemented or be implemented expands to around 14.5 billion euros, while their added value reaches 20 billion and noted that with the exploitation of European funds (SURE, European Investment Bank, Recovery Fund, etc) the total cost of measures will reach 24 billion euros.

The "15 policies" are:

1. Expansion of a measure to put workers' contracts under suspension, payment of a compensation and covering social insurance contributions (in the sectors of tourism, restaurant, transport, culture and sports).

2. A new mechanism to support short-term employment is created to preserve job positions and support business activity.

3. Offering unemployment benefit to seasonal workers who will be employed during this tourist season, along with subsidizing social insurance contributions for seasonal pert-time workers.

4. Suspension of payment of debt tranches to the tax agency for all enterprises which remain closed, along with the sectors of tourism, restaurant, transport, culture and sports, for June.

5. Expanding a measure for 40 pct reduction of rent payments in June for all enterprises remain closed, along with the sectors of tourism, restaurant, culture and sports. This measure also applies to individuals for their primary residence and to students.

6. For real estate owners, leasing their assets to enterprises and workers hit by the crisis, a suspension of tax payments is offered.

7. Enterprises will be offered a second round of refundable advance payment.

8. The government is offering a reduction of advance tax payments for 2020 and 2021 to enterprises hit by the crisis.

9. Reducing VAT on transports from 24 pct to 13 pct in the period June 1-October 31, 2020.

10. Reducing VAT on coffee and beverage drinks from 24 pct to 13 pct for the period June 1-October 31, 2020.

11. Reducing VAT on tourist packages from 80/20 to 90/10 for the period June 1-October 31, 2020.

12. Reducing VAT on cinema tickets from 24 pct to 13 pct for the period June 1-October 31, 2020.

13. Tax deduction of spending on scientific and technological research.

14. Creation of a National Registry of Startup Businesses.

15. Creation of a program that will subsidize primary residence borrowers hit by the pandemic.

Staikouras made a special mention of the four stages of a plan to deal with the crisis and said that a fourth phase will start in autumn.

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