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Government, social partners kick off talks on support measures


The government, employers and trade unions on Friday launched discussions on a package to support employment post-June 12 when the current schemes end.

Employer associations and trade unions submitted their positions to President Nicos Anastsiades at a meeting at the Presidential Palace attended by the Ministers of Finance and Labour. Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas stressed the government  will continue supporting employment but within the fiscal capacity of the state.

As of June 12, state support to businesses will be based on the loss of turnover as opposed to the support to businesses that suspended or partially suspended their operation during the two-month lockdown.

The support will be discussed in the next days by the two Ministries and social partners and the final support scheme will be taken to the Council of Ministers.

“The government is determined to do everything possible so that jobs will not be lost,” Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said in statements after the meeting.

He said that government support from June 13 and onwards will be based on the level of economic activity of each sector following the lifting of lockdown measures. However he added that support will be based “according to the state’s fiscal capacity.”

Asked whether the tourist sector will be given special support due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Sentonas acknowledged that “the tourist sector is taking a big blow and it seems that it will continue to be supported.” But he noted that how and which sectors will receive state support will be determined in the coming days.

Furthermore, the Deputy Spokesman said that economic activity is proceeding well in some sectors of the economy but added however that the situation is not static and is changing daily.

“However, the government is determined to take those measures which would encourage and further facilitate economic activity because economic activity means increased state capability and consequently better capacity for the state to support those in need,” Sentonas concluded.

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