Economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira

“Still no answers” for people who lose their jobs due to Covid-19

Economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira admitted in interview yesterday (Thursday) that with all the government measures devised to try and get the country through this pandemic, it still doesn’t have an answer for people who lose their jobs.

This will be one of the many points under discussion this morning in the reconvened Council of Ministers.

Indeed, the subject will ‘continue to be evaluated’ as this crisis continues, he told RTP.

Explains Expresso, the minister was quizzed “insistently” on the situation of Portuguese companies already laying off workers, and he was unable to give “a concrete answer”.

“It’s evident that a situation like this has costs”, he told his interviewer. The government’s job is to “mitigate the adverse impact”. But the impact will be “very harsh. Shops won’t be closing without a very significant impact”, he added.

The executive however has approved measures that seek to limit lay-offs and save victims from “commitments to the State and the banks”.

All measures under consideration are seeking to protect people’s employment by giving additional resources (to businesses) to “preserve productive capacity”, he said.

Mr Siza Vieira added there were already requests for access to the €200 million credit line created by the government, while the €3 billion package to help restaurants, leisure, holiday rentals and industry, is close to coming online. It has been approved by the European Commission, he said and should “in the next few days reach the banks”.