Papathanassis: Government will support sectors hit by the pandemic

The sectors hit by the pandemic will be especially supported, Alternate Development and Investments Minister Nikos Papathanassis said to Mega TV on Sunday.

“The government will not stop supporting the economy. We do not want businesses to close nor jobs to be lost,” he said.
On whether the food and drinks services’ sector might open earlier to avoid crowding in parks and other outdoor areas, he said that all these facts were taken into account by the epidemiologists’ models but declined to elaborate further, while stressing that any resumption of activity will take place after Easter and only in outdoor areas.

“The sector closed abruptly and has been closed for approximately half a year. Within the hospitality sector we have businesses at one end that have a 200-300 pct increase in sales and, at the other end, a 60-70 pct decrease in sales… we must take into account what has happened,” he said.

He said that government support through the furlough scheme had helped buoy employment, with jobs in retail actually increasing, adding that programmes to protect jobs will continue.

On the bill for licensing shops, he said that new business owners will declare the start of their business online and start operating at once.