BUCHAREST, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The Romanian government announced late Thursday to suspend the payment of rates as a first major measure to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and companies.
The payment of rates will be suspended for a period of up to 9 months, said Finance Minister Florin Citu after a government meeting.
According to him, the payment of the rates can be suspended, at the request of the natural or legal persons, for a period between one and 9 months, but not later than Dec. 31 of the current year.
An emergency ordinance was approved in the cabinet meeting on granting facilities for loans granted by credit institutions and non-bank financial institutions to certain categories of debtors, he added.
All borrowers, natural persons and legal entities who have the capacity to borrow in credit agreements, can benefit from this facility, Citu said, adding that applicants must not have arrears at the time of application.
According to the minister, the requests can be made both by electronic system and by telephone, without the need to sign additional documents.
The Romanian authorities announced Thursday that the confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 123 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 1,029.
The eastern European country announced a nationwide lockdown from Wednesday morning, after a curfew which had been introduced previously since Sunday evening. The country entered a state of emergency on March 16 after the number of COVID-19 cases exceeded 100.