New Legislative Act (11 March 2020) on Tackling the Negative Impact of COVID-19 and Mitigating its Spread in Greece
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in any retrieval system of any nature without prior permission of the publisher. Application for permission for other use of copyright material including permission to reproduce extracts in other published works shall be made to the publisher. Full acknowledgment of author, publisher and source must be given. Nothing in this newsletter shall be construed as legal advice. Professional advice should therefore be sought before any action is undertaken based on this publication.
The new Legislative Act by the Greek government which coincided with the declaration of the COVID-19 disease as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), was published on the 11th of March 2020 and consists of 22 Articles.
Its main purposes are the following:
1. Counter the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses that have been struck and suffered losses.
2. Limit the spread of COVID-19.
Some of the targeted measures for businesses that have suffered losses are the following:
A. Prolongation of payment of VAT, without any penalties on late payment.
B. Prolongation of payment of installment payments to the Independent Authority for Public Revenues (ΑΑΔΕ) e.g. pertaining to income tax, without any penalties on late payment.
In respect to both A. & B. above the Director of the Independent Authority for Public Revenues (ΑΑΔΕ) will forward his suggestions to the Minister of Finance as to which are the affected businesses by Sector and Area. The Minister will the Decide the time length of the extension for the payment, the installments for extended payments etc.
C. Prolongation of payment of National Insurance Contributions for businesses affected.
Further in respect to workers in the private sector, and in a similar fashion to Italy's Art. 4.1(.a) of the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 1 March 2020 which allows employers in the Italian territory to require their employees to work remotely:
D. An "agile provision" has been enacted where employers can/may require employees to work remotely,
Schools, special schools & Kindergartens are closed for the next fortnight which brings into play a need for many families for a parent to be present with the child/children at home. Accordingly:
E. Parents may also make use of a "leave of a special purpose" of at least 3 days conditioned on the employee using 1 day of the annual leave for every 3 days of leave.
In relation to the Public Sector:
F. A similar provision as in E. above, has been enacted for parents working in the public Sector.
G. There are various provisions for public services (e.g. for limited working/operating hours) including a provision for remote work had this been required and viable.
G. A similar provision is also made for Courts & Prosecutors and there are discussions at the time of writing this brief as to how long courts will suspend their operations (subject to limitations e.g. danger of passing of statute of limitations etc.).
i) Several more provisions have been made with one notable example being the prolongation of payment of VAT for companies that have had business dealings with the now insolvent Thomas Cook Group PLC.
ii) Furthermore, owners of real property in Greece, pursuant to Article 51 of Law 4647/2019, were under an obligation to either declare for the first time or amend and correct the true surfaces of their properties before the Municipal Authorities without a fine for the preceding years for which the property remained non-declared or inaccurately declared. The deadline for doing so was the 31st of March 2020. It has now been extended to the 30th of June 2020.
iii) Cancelling of student & military parade events for the Greek Independence Day (25th of March).
iv) Employers’ obligation to notify the competent authorities via the ERGANI information system in respect to any amendment of the employees’ working hours or the organisation of working time of the employees, or overwork, overtime etc., is suspended until the 10th of April 2020. For the duration of the above measure employers are obliged to notify the authorities about changes in working hours, as well as any overwork, overtime etc., within the first 10 days of the following month.
v) Extension of validity for residence permits or certificates of filing for a residence permit that expire within the period of effect of the measures.
Apart from the provisions contained in the Legislative Act of the 11th of March 2020 above, the Greek Government (in accordance with the previous Legislative Act of the 25th of February 2020) has announced the staffing of the Public Health Sector with 2,000 professionals (including nurses, ambulance staff, physiotherapists, paramedics etc.) on 2 year employment contracts.
for Special Editions & Publications see our Publications >
About our Newsletters |
Valmas Associates are committed to providing clients with regular updates on legislative and industry changes in the form of opinions, publications and newsletters.
About the Author |
Ioannis Valmas LLB, LLM, (MSc) is Managing Partner at Valmas Associates and a Greek trial attorney and legal advisor that has represented – almost exclusively – since 2008, overseas clients (from government bodies to private individuals) for their administrative, business and personal legal matters in Greece gaining a stellar reputation abroad. He has lived abroad for almost a decade and earned several degrees from UK Universities. He has attended seminars at US Universities (Harvard and Stanford Law Schools). He has been a member of the Athens Bar Association for over a decade. He is appointed before the Court of Appeals and licensed to practice law throughout the territory of the Hellenic Republic, Greece. His writings on Greek Real Estate Law, Aviation Law and Shipping have been widely published in recent years by publishers in Greece and abroad.