Support now comes to €5.9 bln

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Monday announced specific measures for the "greater, more immediate and targeted support of households and enterprises" to deal with the growing impact of the pandemic on the economy, raising the fiscal cost over the first quarter of the year to 5.9 billion euros, above the budget estimate that had earmarked €7.5 billion for that purpose for the entire year.

The most important new measure is the splitting of the sixth phase of the cheap state loans program, known as "Deposit To Be Returned," so that it immediately starts  covering the January losses with €500 million. Therefore the sixth and seventh phase will add up to €1.5 billion, against an original provision for €700 million - €1 billion.

The submission of applications for the sixth phase will begin next Monday and the disbursement is scheduled for early March. As this only...

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