The Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants and Related Professions is appealing to justice, demanding compensation for the incalculable damages suffered by the industry from the prolonged lockdown of 17 weeks.
In fact, representatives of the catering industry are expected on March 31 to hand over to Megaro Maximou the keys of the companies that were gathered during a mobilization that took place in February throughout Greece.
According to data from ELSTAT in 2020, the turnover of the catering sector in relation to 2019 recorded a decrease of 2.28 billion euros, a percentage of 37,7%.
The second largest employer in the country with about half a million employees is in despair and faces lockouts and layoffs as more than 75% of companies in the sector have suspended employment contracts while it is estimated that about 200.000 employees in the restaurant are on work suspension. These jobs are reportedly precarious, as more than 4 in 10 catering businesses appear to be experiencing serious liquidity problems.
In a statement, the WTO noted that there is a risk of a sharp rise in unemployment if companies that are suspended or under-operated and have suspended employment contracts proceed to extensive redundancies if the protection measures are lifted and / or not extended. This will be the result of either a cessation of business activity, or under the weight of accumulated liabilities and reduced demand as the return to economic and social normality will not be automatic but gradual, as stressed by the WTO.
Regarding the support measures proposed by the Federation during the restart of the industry:
-Financing program for restart (working capital).
-Subsidy for work and not unemployment with the subsidy of 100% of the insurance contributions for 6 months after the restart.
-Cutting of debts that arose during the crisis and regulation of 120 installments.
Exemption from Municipal Fees and Taxes during the lockdown and reduction of them for 6 months after the restart.
-Subsidizing rents, extension of commercial leases and ban on evictions.
-Integration of the Sector in NSRF program.
-Reduction of the VAT rate to 6%.