Opinion material by Andreea Artenie, Partner Reff & Asociaţii, the law firm member of the Deloitte Legal network
After several weeks of restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the new coronavirus, some European states are starting to transmit optimistic signals, in the sense of gradually, prudently relaxing, some of the limitations, in parallel with the intensification of the actions to support the economy, shows the latest edition of Deloitte COVID-19 European measures, which summarize the general, economic and social measures adopted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by multiple European countries.
Most of the decisions aimed at supporting the economy are mainly for small and medium-sized companies, which have felt the effects of the crisis immediately, and include the possibility of delaying the payment of taxes and / or bank rates, as well as financing facilities, through state guarantees when contracting. loans, preferential interest for severely affected sectors, etc. However, some states have announced or have already adopted support measures for large companies. These include Germany, which offers large companies collateral for loans granted by KFW Bank, the state-owned bank, Lithuania, which provides a special liquidity fund, Slovakia, where new measures are expected for this segment of companies, such as and Poland or Slovenia.
Regarding the signs of relaxation of restrictions, some of them come from the Czech Republic, which allows, starting from April 7, to perform individual outdoor sports activities, other activities in parks, in nature and in other accessible public places, but with certain limitations, meant to provide protection, such as wearing masks and keeping distance. Also, as of April 14, the Czechs can travel abroad for "essential activities", such as trips for work, medical check-ups or family visits, with the mention that each trip will be followed by 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
Other states have announced that they will relax the restrictions in the coming period, to allow the resumption of economic activities, such as Austria, Spain and Poland, or that they are considering this option, such as Germany, where consultations between Chancellor Angela Merkel follow and federal lands.
Regardless of the region in which they are located or the economic model on which they are based, the European states have a common element when it comes to the approach: prudence, in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which stressed that, although the control of the spread of the virus seems to give some signs of progress, it is too early to give up protection measures. European countries are taking small and cautious steps in this direction, but perhaps more important than the breadth of decisions is the message of optimism they convey.
Romania has not yet reached the peak of the pandemic - as a proof in this regard, the decree for extending the state of emergency by another 30 days has just been signed by the president and published in the Official Gazette, which also contains new measures aimed at responding to deficiencies in the state defense. against the spread of the pandemic and its effects, including in the economic and social field. Also, the business environment is still making efforts to adapt to the newly created situation, in the hope that things will return to normal soon. The companies that seem to succeed in this endeavor are those that have begun to look at the situation in which they find themselves as "new normality" and consequently reinvent themselves. However, the general state remains characterized by the increased attention to the new regulations and facilities announced by the state to support the economy, as well as the reaction speed to ensure compliance and, above all, the survival of the business.