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Economy

Greek FinMin: Lockdown Costs 750 Million Euros Per Week

ATHENS — The Greek government has raised its projection for the cost of support measures for the society and the real economy to 11.6 billion euros this year, from an initial forecast of 7.5 billion euros, due to the persistence of negative pandemic data, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday.

Addressing a "Fin Forum 2021, Shaping the future of banking & finance" conference, the FinMin said that the lockdown cost 750 million euros each week. He added that the burden on the state budget from the new extension of restrictive measures until March 16 will total 1.2 billion euros, of which 520 million in measures to support commerce.

Staikouras said that the country's cash reserves amounted to 34 billion euros, although he noted that available funds were not unlimited. He underlined that proper management, combined with the country's ability to borrow from capital markets and a relaxed fiscal policy framework agreed on a European level, were the key to success.

He said that the Finance ministry was not taking into account only the needs to the end of the pandemic crisis, but also the financing needs of the real economy and society in the post-Covid era. Staikouras said that that government has supported the real economy with 27 billion euros so far during the pandemic crisis and stressed that the government has prepared a funding plan of projects and reforms to be funded by the Recovery Fund. He said that Greece expected the disbursement of 5.5 billion euros from the Recovery Fund this year (4.2 billion in support and 1.3 billion in loans).

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