The recent outbreak of the Omicron variant is creating new problems for the budget and the real economy, bringing to the fore scenarios for new measures to support employees and companies affected by the new wave of the pandemic.

The financial staff is following the developments on the health front and is waiting to hear the new restrictive measures. Moreover, in 15-20 days, when we are going to have a better picture of the situation, the financial staff is going to decide if new support measures should be taken and to what extent.

In any case, jobs are their first concern.  Employees in companies (e.g. nightclubs) affected by the new restrictive measures (e.g. work suspension measure)  are the first concern of the state, while the Cooperation program has been extended until March 2022, which enables the compression of wage and non-wage costs in companies, with a significant reduction in turnover through the state coverage of part of the insurance contributions and salaries of employees.

Although the market demands, mainly from restaurants and bars, vary from the possibility of the companies to put employees in suspension and the rent reductions to the payment of the repayable advances and the change of the deadline of the pandemic debt repayment, the competent sources of the Ministry of Finance are wary, noting that “it is still too early to talk about any new measures”.

There is a strong possibility that things could change, something that is stressed also by the fact that the restrictions, that will be announced today concerning the restaurants and the bars, may become stricter, as hinted yesterday by the government spokesman, Mr. Giannis Oikonomou, and to be implemented earlier than January 3rd.

Generalized restrictive measures are excluded

However, the possibility of generalized restrictive measures in economic activity has been ruled out and the emerging action plan to contain the Covid-19 expansion does not mean horizontal direct

The Greek Minister of Investment and Development, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, with his statements tried to lower the bar of expectations for support measures in restaurants and bars – which are going to close at midnight – while he also recognized that nightclubs will be affected by the new measures and left more than open the possibility for additional measures depending on the developments.

Moreover, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Stelios Petsas, left also the open the possibility of taking additional measures, while he also talked about stadiums.

“It is clear that the nightclubs are going to be affected by the new measures. As for the stadiums, I understand that their capaicity is limited, especially where there are big stadiums for the big teams that have already sold thousands of season tickets, but the measures will be in force for the next 15 days and they will be re-evaluated” he added.

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