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Coronavirus Lockdown Costs Greece 750 Million Euros Per Week

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Coronavirus lockdown in Greece
The coronavirus lockdown costs Greece around $902 million per week. Credit: George E. Koronaios, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

The coronavirus lockdown is costing Greece around 750 million euros ($902 million) per week, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday.

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.

The initial forecast was for 7.5 billion euros.

Addressing a conference, Staikouras said the burden on the state budget from the new extension of restrictive measures until March 16 will total 1.2 billion euros.

Of these, 520 million are aimed at measures to support commerce.

The Minister said that the country’s cash reserves amounted to 34 billion euros, although he noted that the available funds were not unlimited.

Staikouras underscored 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 only taking into account 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 the 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 added 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).

Exemption from income tax

Earlier, Finance Ministry officials announced the full exemption from income tax and the solidarity levy of all means of state support provided in the context of the pandemic.

These include the special-purpose compensation, handouts, income contributions, rental cut compensation and all takings from the cheap state loans program.

This adds up to more than 12 billion euros distributed over the last 12 months to hundreds of thousands of enterprises, employees and freelance professionals.

This means that tax offices will not take into account the cash provided to taxpayers and enterprises in the context of the support measures.

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