State to provide cash support to workers, businesses and landlords in December

Hundreds of thousands of Greek employees, self-employed workers, businesses and real estate owners affected by the pandemic will be the beneficiaries of cash assistance from the state in December. Benefits will be disbursed to workers on furlough, businesses will be paid the returnable advance while property owners will be paid half their losses from a mandatory rent reduction.

The last payments of the third round of returnable advances were made the previous week, with a total of 101,430 beneficiaries receiving 1.507 billion euros. A further 1.7 billion euros from the fourth and fifth rounds are to follow. The aim is to disburse these funds before the end of the year, bringing the total support to businesses from all five rounds of the returnable advance payments to 5.0 billion euros.

According to the General Accounting Office of State, up to 60 pct of businesses will also be eligible to ask for a state loan during the last two rounds of the returnable advance.

For workers, payment compensating those furloughed by businesses closed by state order will be made between November 27 and December 3, while on December 20 a proportion of the sum of 800 euros (as calculated for a full month) will be given to employees furloughed in November. The sums disbursed will range from a maximum of 747 euros (for areas that went into lockdown on November 3) to 587 euros for barber shops and hairdressing salons, which will be shut for 22 days in total.

For landlords, the government will pay out 50 pct of the losses they incurred through a mandatory 40 pct rent reduction, which will be paid directly into their accounts, after they submit a statement of income loss via TAXISnet for November.

Regarding the Christmas bonus salary paid by private-sector employers, the state will pay businesses for the period that employees have been on furlough but not calculated on their nominal monthly salary but at a fixed rate of 534 euros.