FOR DEBTORS

Bridge (Gefyra) 2: Business Loan Instalment Subsidy Programme for Debtors Affected by COVID-19

14 July 2021

We continue to support and facilitate debtors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We are participating in the new Bridge 2 Programme launched by the Greek State which provides loan instalment subsidy for business loans extended to legal and natural persons (freelance professionals, partners in personal or private companies). It applies to both performing and non-performing loans.

The deadline for submitting applications has been extended to 31/05/2021.

Find out what Law 4790/2021 provides for instalment subsidy for business loans to affected businesses and professionals.

Programme features

The State will contribute for 8 months to your monthly business loan instalments, commencing from the month following the approval of your application. Both principal and interest are subsidised.

The rate and maximum amount of the subsidy vary based on the following classification of debts in three (3) categories (as classified on 31/12/2020):

  • 1st category: Performing debts or debts up to 90 days past due
  • 2nd category: Non-performing debts over 90 days past due
  • 3rd category: Non-performing denounced debts

State contribution

The State’s contribution is paid every month in the unseizable loan account for your debts sent on the digital platform

The State contribution can be neither seized nor netted. A tax or insurance clearance certificate is not required to approve and pay the contribution.

The category in which your debt belongs and the contribution rate depend on any overdue amounts as at 31/12/2020. The State contribution rate ranges according to the following table:

Debt category 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd 2-month period
1st category: <90 days past due 90% 80% 70%
2nd category: >90 days past due 80%        70%  60%
3rd category Denounced (after 31/12/2018) 50%        40%  30%

Maximum monthly contribution amount per debt category:

Debt category Natural persons Very small businesses Small businesses Medium businesses
1st category: <90 days past due 600€ 5.000€ 15.000€  50.000€
2nd category: >90 days past due 500€ 4.000€  12.500€ 40.000€
3rd category: Denounced (after 31/12/2018) 300€ 2.500€  7.500€  25.000€
 
The total amount of State contribution granted to a single business (on a single business level as set out in Article 65(s) of Law 4790/2021) cannot exceed €1.8 million in aggregate. This amount is calculated before taxes or other levies, taking into account all aids granted to the single business, pursuant to Section 3.1 of the Temporary Framework.

Who is entitled to the contribution

The following entities are eligible for the State contribution:

  • Active legal persons representing a very small, small or medium business. Financial institutions are exempted.
  • Natural persons who are active freelance professionals or partners in personal (e.g. general partnership, limited partnership) or private (e.g. private company, limited liability partnership) companies.

It is a prerequisite that all persons are proven to have been affected by COVID-19 and, to this end, have been included in the measures taken to address the COVID-19 consequences.

The following are considered to have been financially affected by the coronavirus:

i. Legal persons and entities, including sole proprietorships, that were classified as affected based on their business activity code (KAD), pursuant to Ministerial Decisions already issued or that will be issued by 09/05/2021.

ii. Freelance professionals or natural persons pursuing business activity, but with no employees, that were classified as affected based on their business activity code (KAD), pursuant to Ministerial Decisions already issued or that will be issued by 09/05/2021.

iii. Legal persons or businesses operating in real estate that received reduced rents, pursuant to Ministerial Decisions already issued or that will be issued by 09/05/2021.

iv. Partners in personal or private companies that were mandatorily suspended or classified as affected based on their business activity code (KAD), pursuant to Ministerial Decisions already issued or that will be issued by 09/05/2021. v.    Beneficiaries or recipients of the aid granted in the form of the repayable advances, pursuant to Ministerial Decisions already issued or that will be issued by 09/05/2021.

vi. Legal persons and entities, including sole proprietorships, that constitute private-sector employers and included their employees in the provisions of Joint Ministerial Decision No. 23103/478/2020 (Β/2274) of the Ministers of Finance, Development and Investment, and Labour and Social Affairs (“Cooperation” mechanism) up until 09/05/2021.

Their revenue for the 2020 calendar year must have been reduced by at least 20% compared to 2019, as illustrated through their periodical VAT returns.

Additional eligibility criteria

  • There must be at least one business or professional debt to a financing institution.
  • You should not have received any other active State aid or contribution at the time the application was submitted.
  • There should be no active guarantee provided by the Greek State or the Hellenic Development Bank or EU bodies through national or EU resources for the loan.
  • At the time the application is submitted, any non-performing or denounced loans of yours up until the application date should not constitute over 50% of the total loans you have received from financing institutions for any reason.

The following additional eligibility criteria should also be met per beneficiary category:

  • For medium businesses, not to be an undertaking in difficulty within the meaning of Article 18(2) of Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 as at 31 December 2019, or if it was an undertaking in difficulty as at 31 December 2019, to not be an undertaking in difficulty when the aid is granted.
  • For small or very small businesses that were already undertakings in difficulty as at 31 December 2019: a) to not have been included in collective insolvency proceedings and to not have received rescue aid without having repaid the loan or terminated the guarantee agreement, and b) to not have received restructuring aid and to not be subject to a restructuring plan, within the meaning of the guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty.
  • During the 2 years before submitting the application, the beneficiaries must not have been subject to: a) 3 penalty acts issued by the inspectors of the Labour Inspectorate on “material” or “very material” violations of the Labour Law, as a result of 3 inspections, or b) 2 penalty acts issued by the inspectors of the Labour Inspectorate on undeclared employment, as a result of 2 inspections.
  • There must be no outstanding recovery order for previous illegal and incompatible state aid.
  • All businesses should be active, file all tax returns, not to be bankrupt, not to have filed for bankruptcy, not to have been placed under compulsory administration, not to have filed to be placed under compulsory administration, and, in general, not to have been included in any insolvency proceedings in accordance with the national law, except for the case, when the resolution of the undertaking has been ratified by a court order, which has not been challenged by any means of appeal.
  • If the businesses are operating in manufacturing or agriculture, they should not pass the received aid, in part or in full, on to primary producers.

Summary of the criteria for the 1st category

 

A. PERFORMING LOANS OR LOANS UP TO 90 DAYS PAST DUE

BENEFICIARIES

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

TURNOVER

DEPOSITS

(Greece and abroad)

OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS

REAL ESTATE

Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional

0

≤57.000€

≤40.000€

≤600.000€

Very small business or Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional

1-9

≤2.000.000€

≤1.000.000€

≤150.000€

≤2.500.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)

Small business

10-49

≤10.000.000€

≤5.000.000€

≤750.000€

≤10.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)

Medium business

50-249

≤50.000.000€

≤25.000.000€

≤3.750.000€

≤50.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)

Summary of the criteria for the 2nd category

  B. NON-PERFORMING LOANS (NON-DENOUNCED) OVER 90 DAYS PAST DUE
BENEFICIARIES NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES TURNOVER DEPOSITS

(Greece and abroad)
OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS REAL ESTATE
Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional 0 ≤45.000€ ≤25.000€ ≤500.000€
Very small business or Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional 1-9 ≤2.000.000€ ≤850.000€ ≤127.500€ ≤2.250.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)
Small business 10-49 ≤10.000.000€ ≤4.250.000€ ≤637.500€ ≤9.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)
Medium business 50-249 ≤50.000.000€ ≤21.250.000€ ≤3.187.500€ ≤45.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)

Summary of the criteria for the 3rd category

  C. DENOUNCED LOANS (denounced after 31/12/2018)
BENEFICIARIES NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES TURNOVER

DEPOSITS

(Greece and abroad)

OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS REAL ESTATE
Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional 0 ≤36.000€ ≤15.000€ ≤280.000€
Very small business or Sole proprietorship / Freelance professional 1-9 ≤2.000.000€ ≤550.000€ ≤82.500€ ≤1.250.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)
Small business 10-49 ≤10.000.000€ ≤2.750.000€ ≤412.500€ ≤7.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)
Medium business 50-249 ≤50.000.000€ ≤13.750.000€ ≤2.062.500€ ≤35.000.000€ (μη υποθηκευμένη)

Step-by-step instructions on how to apply

Submit your application to be included in the programme online on the dedicated platform for submitting and managing applications launched by the Special Secretariat for Private Debt Management from 05/04/2021 to 31/05/2021.

To submit your application:

  1. Log in to the platform with your TAXISnet credentials.
  2. Fill in who your advisor-representative is. In this case, the procedure is over for you. If you do not wish to appoint an advisor-representative, you must:
  • Confirm your full details and business activity code (if not identified by the platform).
  • For natural persons, confirm your spouse and/or dependent members (if not identified by the platform).
  • Fill in any liquid assets (deposits, bonds etc.) you may own abroad.
  • Accept the platform statements (granting authorisation to lift privacy, collect data, confirming the accuracy of the data etc.).

Once you submit your application, the platform checks whether you meet the eligibility criteria. The platform will send you an email notifying you of meeting the criteria or not.

If there more than one co-debtors, only one of them needs to submit an application.

Once it is confirmed that your application meets all required criteria, as provided in Law, you and your financing institution receive a notification within 3 working days to inform you that you are in principle eligible for the State contribution.

Overdue debt management

If you have overdue debts, they need to be settled before you can be included in the programme. Otherwise your application is rejected.

  1. If the eligible debt is non-performing up to 90 days past due, you need to pay all overdue instalments within 15 days from the date your eligibility in principle is confirmed. Otherwise, the financing institution will capitalise such debts and increase your outstanding balance. Once this deadline has elapsed, the financing institution sends the amount of your monthly instalment within 15 days, so the State contribution may commence.
  2. If the eligible debt is non-performing over 90 days past due or denounced, you need to restructure your eligible debt, reaching a mutual agreement with the financing institution, for the State contribution payments to commence. Restructuring should be concluded within 3 months at the latest, and in all cases by 30/09/2021. If the parties agree on the restructuring, the financing institution sends an update to the digital platform and declares that the restructure is deemed viable and compatible with the debtor’s financial data at the time of entering the restructuring agreement.

In all cases, the financing institution needs to send the amount of the monthly instalments to the platform for the State contribution payments to commence.

Debtor’s obligations and monitoring period

For the contribution payments to continue, you are required to pay your share of the instalment on time, both during the contribution payments and during the monitoring period.

The monitoring period starts as soon as the subsidy ends. It lasts from 6 to 18 months, depending on the category of your debt:

  • 6 months – for performing debts or debts up to 90 days past due as at 31/12/2020.
  • 12 months – for non-performing debts over 90 days past due as at 31/12/2020 or for debts with other than monthly instalments, regardless of the category they belong in.
  • 18 months – for non-performing debts over 90 days past due as at 31/12/2020 that had also been denounced by that date by the financing institution, even if they were settled later on following an agreement between the debtor and the financing institution.

Discontinuation of contribution

The State contribution may be discontinued if:

  • Your application was approved but you did not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • The applicant has dissolved, for legal persons, or deceased, for natural persons.
  • Following three consecutive payment orders, crediting the State contribution to at least one bank account has not been possible.
  • Following a new inspection of the application details, it was identified that the legal requirements for granting the State contribution were not fulfilled.
  • The debtor has delayed the payment of their share of the amount during the State contribution period. Timely payment means that the payment has been made on the final date set by the financing institution at the latest. Not paying an amount equal to one monthly instalment may not be considered non-timely payment.
  • The debtor does not comply with the obligations provided in Article 72 of Ν.4790/2021.
  • There is evidence that the inclusion application is false and its inaccuracy impairs the debtor’s eligibility.
  • Businesses operating in manufacturing and agricultural product trading pass the received contribution, in full or in part, on to primary producers.
  • The debtor has not submitted the certificates set out in Article 68(5)(b) by 31/12/2021: certificates of no previous bankruptcy, no filing for bankruptcy, no placement under judicial administration, no filing for judicial administration, no inclusion in any insolvency proceedings, except for the case, when the resolution of the undertaking has been ratified by a court order, which has not been challenged by any means of appeal.

People often ask about the Bridge 2 (Gefyra) Programme

Which are the main criteria for inclusion in the Bridge 2 Programme?

Inclusion depends on the category and size of the business (legal person or professional), which should belong in sectors (business activity codes) that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Number of employees
  • Performing or non-performing loan
  • Annual revenue or family income (for sole proprietorships – professionals)
  • Real estate
  • Deposits

What if my debt has already been subsidised pursuant to Law 4605/2019 or Law 4714/2020 (Bridge 1 Programme)? Can I also receive instalment subsidy through the Bridge 2 Programme?

No. You cannot receive two subsidies for the same debt.

Debts subsidised under the previous Bridge Programme (Law 4714/2020) are not eligible for subsidy under the Bridge 2 Programme.

In all cases, at the time of submitting your application for the Bridge 2 Programme, you are not allowed to receive another active state aid for the debt subject to contribution.

What if I have already been included in the provisions of Law 3869/2010 on debt settlement for indebted natural persons and my application for the Bridge 2 Programme is also approved?

If the State contribution through this programme is approved, you waive your right to apply to the Greek State for covering part of your monthly payments according to the debt-settlement plan, as per the provisions of Law 3869/2010 on debt settlement for indebted natural persons.

What if I have applied to be included in Law 3869/2010, but my application is still pending in first instance and has not been discussed? Can I apply for the Bridge 2 Programme?

If you have applied for debt settlement for indebted natural persons under Law 3869/2010, and your application is pending at the competent Civil District Court and has not been discussed, you may apply for the State contribution.

What if my debt has been sold or securitised or assigned to a credit servicing company? Who is the creditor?

If a loan or credit facility has been sold to a credit servicing company pursuant to Law 4354/2015 or securitised and sold pursuant to Law 3156/2003, then the creditor may only participate in the procedure through the credit servicing company which has been assigned with managing the credit or through the person who has been assigned with managing the credit.

How are my personal data protected?

All your data are protected by data privacy and are kept confidential on the dedicated digital platform launched by the Special Secretariat for Private Debt Management, in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).