The government is working on a plan to postpone the repayment of the cheap government loans granted during the lockdown, known as Deposit To Be Returned, in order to ease pressure on mostly small and medium-sized businesses that not only fail to meet their obligations as a result the ongoing health crisis, but also because of the energy price increases.
The Ministry of Finance is looking for solutions to support the market with budget-friendly measures, such as those announced at the end of last month for the return of the special consumption tax on oil for 2022 for around 220,000 farmers for a total of 50 million euros.
The delayed repayment of the state loans will practically do no harm to the state coffers. The government expects to recover around 3 billion euros, a large part of which is to be repaid by the end of the year, mainly from large companies in the tourism industry.
With this in mind, the government is considering postponing the payment of the first installment by three to six months. Those who are solvent can start paying out their tranches or even the entire sum at once within this month.
Companies with problems are expected to begin repaying their government loans in either late March or late June. The payment schedule could be similar to that for income tax debts and the Unified Wealth Tax (ENFIA). If the repayment of the government loans is postponed by three months, the first three tranches will all be due by the end of March.
Several alternative scenarios are currently on the table and decisions will be made depending on developments, both with regard to the pandemic and with regard to energy market rates.
Under current legislation, companies must repay the money received through the seven phases of the Deposit-For-Return program either in a lump sum with an additional discount of 15% or in 60 monthly installments with the first one due by the end of January .