Shield for 400,000 employees

At least 400,000 jobs - a sizable section of the local labor market - are expected to be protected until at least March 2021, as the massive submission of applications for cheap state loans in the "Deposit To Be Returned" program is creating a protective shield for the employees of applicant companies.

This measure, combined with the temporary suspension of contracts - which, as Eurostat has also pointed out, considerably reduced the share of workers in Greece that lost their jobs in the second quarter (below 2% against more than 6.5% in Spain) - is raising hopes that although the jobless rate may grow by year-end, at least it won't soar.

The latest International Monetary Fund report agrees with that, revising its unemployment rate estimate to below 20% - at 18.5% for this year - before easing back to 17.8% in 2021.

The cheap loans program, which forbids...

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