Romania’s economy has contracted by up to 40% during the coronavirus pandemic but the government wants to give aid to small and medium businesses worth 750 million euros with the European Union to offset losses.
Economy Minister Virgil Popesu said the funds would come from the national budget and then recovered from the EU as part of an agreement with the bloc.
“I have been talking to the prime minister, the minister of European funds, and the minister of finance to prepare this package to help small and medium-sized enterprises,” he was quoted as saying by national news agency Agerpres, quoting an interview with the public radio station.
The measures will compensate for losses incurred by businesses during the pandemic and also help restart the economy when the crisis ends.
Popescu said many industries would seek to relocate to Europe after the pandemic. The virus broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. China has come under criticism not only for the virus, but for covering up the real number of deaths.
The crisis has badly dented Romania’s economy “it has a 30-40% contraction, and we’re not at the peak of epidemic,” Popescu said.
Romanian officials say the peak will after Orthodox Easter this weekend.
“Then we can talk about a declining slope of this crisis when we want to have measures prepared to to relaunch the economy,” Agerpres quoted him as saying.
The tourism and hospitality sector have been the worst affected sectors, as well as the auto industry.
French-Romanian carmaker, Automobile Dacia, said last week it would resume operations at its plant in southern Romania, in two stages, on April 21, two days after Orthodox Easter and then on May 4.