Greece vows support for businesses hit by pandemic



Greece on Monday announced special compensation for businesses affected by the restrictive measures due to the pandemic.

Around 100,000 business and self-employed workers of which 10,800 are retailers in the regions of Thessaloniki, Achaia, and Kozani, regions that are still under restrictive measures, will benefit from the measure of €130 million, said Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.

“We will make use of funds raised from markets in the last months to support business,” Staikouras said.

According to the minister, €130 million will be paid in May once the disbursement of round seven of the repayable advance has been completed.

Additional sectors that would benefit from the measure are tourism, sports, and fitness, culture, transport, and others whose activities are suspended by the state.

He added that the businesses that will qualify for the higher special-purpose compensation are those employing from 21 to 50 employees and will receive the amount of €4,000.

Businesses that employ six to 20 people will receive €2,000, while from zero to five employees, businesses will get €1,000.

For those businesses whose activities have been suspended for less than 15 days, the compensation will be halved relative to the above-mentioned amounts.

Despite rising infection numbers, Greece reopened its retail sector on Monday under certain restrictions and with the “click-away” and “click-in shop” schemes that were previously used. Customers will be allowed to pick up their online order or to visit a store and try on clothes and shoes in person only by appointment and for up to three hours.

Meanwhile, the government announced that it would extend its travel restrictions on domestic flights until April 12 while the international flights ban will be extended to April 19.

On Sunday, the country recorded 1,955 new coronavirus infections, bringing up the total tally to 275,414 infections.

Some 78 deaths have also been recorded, the highest death toll so far this year. The total death toll since the start of the pandemic has now reached 8,380 fatalities.

So far 1.83 million people have been vaccinated in the country.


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