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As Lithuania is set to introduce quarantine over the coronavirus, the country's government has vowed to endorse an economic stimulus and business assistance plan on Monday.
Pieno gamykla
Pieno gamykla
© Shutterstock

At a Cabinet sitting on Saturday, Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said resources will be allocated for healthcare, employment promotion and social guarantees, as well as ensuring business liquidity and promoting the economy.

"The situation is exceptional, and the economic response must be decisive and unprecedented," Sapoka said during the Cabinet sitting.

In his words, the healthcare system's needs during its fight against the coronavirus will be funded from the state and government reserve, and by also borrowing and using the funds of the mandatory health insurance reserve.

The government also pledges subsidies and the possibility to use the long-term unemployment fund to help businesses.

"We will apply the principle of solidarity and will share this burden with the business sector," the minister said.

Also, he said, businesses will be allowed postponing tax payments, and recoveries will be suspended and the possibility will be provided to be exempt from paying the land and real estate tax. The government also pledges to provide guarantees for working capital loans and partial interest compensation.

The government also vows to take measures to stimulate the economy by, first of all, redistributing funds for already planned projects.

"The climate change fund will be „thawed“, the road fund will be „thawed“ and additional investments will go to renovation, renewable energy and other infrastructure measures," Sapoka said.

The government plans to up borrowing and guarantee caps on Monday to be able to implement this plan.

"We will need the Seimas' approval here but I think nobody will have doubt that these measures are necessary," the finance minister said.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said these measures will be approved during the Cabinet's Mnday sitting. "It will be approved at 10 a.m. on Monday during the Cabinet sitting," he said.

The prime minister said earlier "we are speaking about at least 1 billion euros".

The Lithuanian government decided on Saturday to introduce quarantine on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Once the quarantine is in place, the majority of foreigners will be banned from entering Lithuania, and the majority of shops will be closed, except for food shops.

The ban will not apply to the movement of goods.

BNS
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