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Coronavirus response has already cost Belgium €15 billion

© Belga

Emergency measures rolled out to keep businesses afloat throughout the coronavirus pandemic have cost Belgium nearly €15 billion.

Figures from the Belgian National Bank show that the coronavirus crisis has already blown a hole of €14.4 billion on the country’s coffers, HLN reports.

The damage to the federal government’s budget amounts to €10.2 billion while the added-up cost to the regional budgets of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia amounts to €4.2 billion.

The total tally, published on Thursday, does not take into the €600 million the federal government agreed to roll out this for health services, €500 million of which are set to be used to improve salaries in the sector.

The figures from the National Bank take into account the expenses related to the crisis throughout 2020, such as purchases of face masks and test kits as well as unemployment benefits and economic relief for companies throughout the crisis.

The new figures follow projections by the bank in April that the coronavirus crisis could end up costing €45 billion to the Belgian economy and shrink the country’s GDP by 8% by the end of 2020.

The Brussels Times

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