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16 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS - To tackle economic impact of coronavirus, €50 million is released to help businesses and prevent bankruptcies

©Direction de la Communication / Manuel Vitali

“As we have done with preventive health measures, the Principality is introducing barrier measures for the economy alongside support measures... we’re taking action!” In an intentionally aggressive move, Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and Economy, announced during a press briefing on the COVID-19 crisis held by video conference this evening that a total of €50 million was being released in the form of a counter-guarantee from the State for banks receiving requests from businesses experiencing difficulties. “Our aim is to prevent bankruptcies by providing cash-flow relief for businesses in trouble,” said the Minister. “We are in no doubt that members of the National Council will support us in introducing this exceptional budget measure in the form of a credit facility.”

This announcement comes in addition to the support measures that have already been declared: the two-month deferment for VAT payments, new measures to make it easier to introduce temporary full or partial layoffs, subsidies for bank loans or zero-interest loans approved by banks, on which the State will pay the interest, and finally the establishment of a guarantee fund for approved loans, increased from 65% to 100%.

“Finally, businesses who lease their premises from the State Property Authority will have rent payments deferred for two months or more,” said Mr Castellini.

The Prince’s Government also reiterated its desire to encourage teleworking in the Principality, so that “it is taken up on a massive scale by all employers. Those who do not do so will need to be able to justify their decision,” stressed Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Affairs.

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