ATHENS — Radical new solutions are needed to resolve the issue of private debts to insurance funds and all debts in general accrued during the coronavirus pandemic, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance party leader Alexis Tsipras said on Monday at a videoconference with trade associations.
Tsipras spoke with representatives of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE), the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE), the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVEA), and the Athens Chamber of Tradesmen (EEA).
"I believe the time has come to look for more radical solutions, not just for debts to insurance funds, but in general for debts incurred during the pandemic period, for debts to the state and, in general, for debts to banks, because this will provide some relief," Tsipras said. This would prevent businesses from shutting down in 2021, "tens of thousands, if not hundreds, of shutdowns," he added.
If this does not happen, he warned, "the abominable bankruptcy law voted a few months ago that will go into effect as of the new year will ring the death knoll for the overwhelming majority of small and medium-sized (SME) enterprises, and for their employees."
Tsipras also accused the government of "losing control" of the pandemic, "which led to a necessary extension of lockdown into the holiday season," a catastrophic outcome for many SMEs that depend on end-of-the-year sales for their revenues.