News Local Coronavirus: Government announces 9 month moratorium on loan instalments

Coronavirus: Government announces 9 month moratorium on loan instalments

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Thursday announced a nine month moratorium on loan instalments in order to bolster households and businesses battered by the coronavirus crisis and stave off unemployment.

He said cabinet had approved two measures to help the economy weather an unprecedented storm.

“The battle we are waging will be judged by how successful we are in averting bankruptcies by improving liquidity and preventing unemployment,” he said.

The economy has practically ground to a halt as a result of sweeping measures introduced to contain the the epidemic.

At a press conference with Central Bank governor Constantinos Herodotou, the minister said that the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic was affecting 260,000 employees and more than 60,000 companies, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk from bankruptcies.

“The aim is to subsidise the market, not the banks. The aim is to help the real economy.” Petrides said.

Effectively, the banks will channel this liquidity and the money will be used to pay wages and suppliers, he said.

He said that it was decided:

1. There will be a suspension by law and by decree of the repayment of loans and interest for nine months. This would cover companies, individuals and the self-employed who were up to date with their obligations and are affected by the crisis. The moratorium will be re-assessed after nine months.

2. The government will provide guarantees of up to €2b for new low interest loans, of which €1.75b for loans and €250m to subsidise part of the interest. The loans will be for periods of between three months and six years.

Herodotou said the moratorium will inject immediate liquidity into the market. The two schemes protect the banks he added.

Other measures are also being studied while a support package is being discussed with parties so that it can be approved by parliament tomorrow.

This story is being updated


Top Stories

Armenian community in Cyprus holds Karabakh protest

  The Armenian community in Cyprus held an all-day protest today, condemning the Azeri attack on Nagorno Karabakh. The march went through various areas of Nicosia,...

Spain decrees new state of emergency in COVID-19 fight

  Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a new state of emergency in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus infections, imposing local nighttime curfews and...

Iraqi forces use water cannon, tear gas against protesters in Baghdad

  Iraqi security forces fired water cannon and tear gas at anti-government protesters on Sunday to prevent them crossing barricades on a bridge leading towards...

Lebanese Christian cleric to Hariri: avoid ‘secret deals’ in forming cabinet

  Lebanon’s top Christian cleric urged Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri to avoid back-door deals and quickly form a new government that will start lifting the...

Pope Francis names new cardinals, including 9 that will eventually elect successor

  Pope Francis named 13 new Roman Catholic cardinals, including nine under the age of 80 who are eligible to enter a conclave to elect...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...