ATHENS — "We are here to respond in the immediate future with more focused actions, to support professional groups and geographical regions depending on the size of the problem,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday.
In comments made to “Thema 104.6” radio station, Staikouras said there are sections of the Greek economy that have restarted, while some geographical regions are performing better than others. He underlined that there is no tourism on the Greek islands, or it has started slowly, while he added there were issues with the restaurant business. The Greek finance minister said this picture has been fully integrated in estimates over economic recession sent to the European Commission and noted that the economy will contract by 16 pct in the second quarter. "However, based on current data, we expect an economic recession of up to 8.0 pct in 2020," Staikouras noted.
He said that the country’s cash reserves totaled 37.5 billion euros, boosted by two successful bond issues and higher Treasury bill issues. He stressed that Greece will return to international capital markets in the June-July period and reiterated “we will not a problem with our cash reserves, even if there is a second outbreak of the pandemic.”
Staikouras said he expected the economy to begin operating by the end of June, although not at maximum level. He said the government has asked the European Commission to allow state subsidies to larger loss-making enterprises.