Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez today unveiled a €200 billion package to provide relief to self-employed, employers and laid-off workers during the coronavirus crisis.
At press conference this afternoon, Sanchez said the 45-page decree seeks to leave ‘no one behind’, and that today’s measures are the ‘largest’ mobilisation of public funds in modern Spanish history.
He urged companies ‘not to fire any staff’ and plans for the second royal decree to stop a major blow to the economy.
It comes as at least 100,000 workers are facing temporary layoffs as a result of economic stagnation following last Saturday’s lockdown.
“We are doing all we can to help the most vulnerable families,” he said during a live broadcast.
“We must protect our employment, our companies, our families, with a shield that can only be forged by public authorities.
He also announced the freezing of mortgage payments and a benefit for the self-employed and laid-off workers whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic.
This will be granted to the self-employed who can prove a 75 per cent loss in earnings over the previous month compared with the last 180 days.
They will also be exempt from paying social security contributions while the state of alarm is in place, and unemployment benefits claimed will not affect accumulated rights of the laid-off worker.
And employers will not have to pay social security contributions for workers laid off while the ERTE is in effect.
It has also announced workers can cut their work hours (even up to 100 per cent) in order to care for their families, children and grandparents.