LISBON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese Council of Ministers approved on Thursday new measures of the "Economic and Social Stabilization Program" that aims to reactivate the economy through support to companies and the maintenance of jobs after the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Portuguese Development Bank (BPF) was created with the objective of promoting a "set of instruments to support the development and modernization of companies" and the "economic and social development" of the country.
Another noteworthy decision is the extension until July of "extraordinary support for the maintenance of the employment contract in a business crisis situation" -- also called "simplified lay-off" -- in which employees receive 70 percent of their salary directly from the government.
Since the beginning of the pandemic control measures until now, Portugal recorded 850,000 workers in lay-off who had received a total of 580 million euros (650 million U.S. dollars) in salary directly from the government, according to Minister of Labor and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho.
Companies affected by the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, with a revenue breakdown of at least 40 percent, will continue to be covered by the simplified lay-off system.
In addition, a "complement" of remuneration was created, which will be paid to workers up to twice the minimum monthly remuneration, which in Portugal is 635 euros.
The government will also provide an "extraordinary incentive to normalize business activity for employers" who have kept employment contracts amid the pandemic, according to a statement from the Council of Ministers.
In the last 24 hours, Portugal registered one more death from COVID-19, totaling 1,524 deaths, as well as 417 new cases of infection, for a total of 38,089 infected. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollars) Enditem