Greek Fin. Min.: We will help households and businesses and keep supplies for the future

We are maintaining a backup for the future, because there is great uncertainty. We will help households and businesses and keep supplies for the future. This was stated by the Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras, speaking to state broadcaster ERT1 after being asked if there will be further support measures after the quarter that covers the package announced yesterday.

Responding to the opposition’s criticism that the package should have been bigger, the minister said that “these are the things we can give. We do the best we can based on the fiscal space and with social targeting for the vulnerable. The priority is to support those who are really in need and not all horizontally.” He described the package as “more fiscally realistic and more socially equitable”.

According to Mr. Staikouras, if funds are spent from the country’s cash reserve (currently amounting to 39.5 billion euros), the budget deficit will widen, which will have to be covered by borrowing from the markets. “If we go out to borrow, we will borrow at a higher interest rate, which will be borne by the taxpayer,” he said.

The minister cited data from the Independent Authority for State Revenue AADE, based on which there are 4.8 million cars in Greece belonging to 3.5 million owners. The fuel subsidy, he said, covers 3 million owners or 86% of the total. He clarified that if there are two cars in a family, the subsidy (subject to the income limit of 30,000 euros) will be given to both as long as they are registered to different names.

Finally, regarding the deadline for the one-time repayment of the loans of the “repayable advance” with a 15% discount, he stated that after the increase of the installments to 96 from 60, the specific deadline is extended from the end of March to the end of May. At the same time, saying that out of the 8.3 billion euros given in total as government loans in the seven cycles of “repayable advances”, the ministry expects to collect 2.3 billion euros while 6 billion euros will not be repaid.