The economy of Greece performed better than others in the euro zone during the first quarter but the shirt due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 restrictions in the second and third quarters are going to be dramatic, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned on Friday.

While speaking in the parliament, he made an announcement of new measures worth 3.5 billion euros for supporting businesses hurt by the lockdown imposed to curb the spread if the deadly novel virus pandemic.

Greece PM Announces Measures to Support Businesses

Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Kyriakos Mitsotakis Wikimedia Commons

"We are aware that the impact on growth in the second and third quarter will be dramatic," Mitsotakis said, adding that his goal was to ease that impact as much as possible. The state will extend some tax relief measures for businesses which lost more than 35 percent percent of their turnover in the first half of the year, Mitsotakis said.

It will also cover social security contributions until October and offer liquidity support for affected businesses. Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in 2018 and was hoping for strong growth in 2020. But the nationwide lockdown imposed in March to prevent coronavirus infections has turned those expectations upside down.

The Greek economy is expected to shrink by about 8-10 percent this year before recovering in 2021. Mitsotakis said that averting a rapid increase in unemployment was his government's top priority. The jobless rate stood at 16.2 in the first quarter.

(With agency inputs)