More relief to Polish economy as virus bites

Poland’s president has signed into law a measure to offer more support to the nation’s economy amid the coronavirus epidemic.

A retailer driven out of business amid the coronavirus crisis in Polands southern city of Kraków.

A retailer driven out of business amid the coronavirus crisis in Poland’s southern city of Kraków.Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

Andrzej Duda signed the plan into effect after it was approved by Poland’s parliament last week.

The Polish government this month unveiled a new relief and aid package, worth over PLN 11 billion (USD 2.64 bn, EUR 2.43 bn), to help the economy weather the virus crisis.

According to government officials, the new package aims to protect jobs and complements a massive relief and stimulus plan that the Polish president signed into law last month.

Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz said earlier this month that companies employing 10 to 49 staff would be allowed to pay 50 percent less in social security contributions under the new measures.

Emilewicz said at the end of last month that Poland’s government was ready to loosen the purse strings to offer relief to the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Polish president at the end of last month signed into effect a multibillion relief package aiming to shore up the economy and shield the nation from the impact of an intensifying coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has told reporters that the total value of that anti-crisis package, which also seeks to guarantee the security of the country’s financial system, will come to PLN 212 billion (EUR 47 billion, USD 52 billion), an amount equivalent to around 10 percent of Poland’s GDP.

In a further effort, the Polish prime minister this month unveiled plans to throw a lifeline of at least PLN 100 billion (USD 24 bn, EUR 22 bn) to businesses hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced it has approved a PLN 3.5 billion (around EUR 700 million) Polish loan and guarantee plan aiming to support the economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Polish central bank on April 8 cut interest rates by 50 basis points in the second such move after a coronavirus outbreak hit the country.

A total of 9,287 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 360 deaths from the coronavirus so far, officials said on Sunday afternoon.

(gs)

Source: PAP

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