Polish gov't has spent more than EUR 42.3 bln to save jobs - minister

"Aid measures for industries affected by the pandemic account for over 9.4 percent of our GDP. This places us on the podium among the European Union countries," Maląg said. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Saving jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the government’s main priorities, the family and social policy minister said on Tuesday.

To achieve that, the government has already channeled over PLN 192 billion (EUR 42.3 billion), Marlena Maląg told a press conference in Żyrardów, central Poland.

According to Central Statistical Office (GUS), in December 2020, unemployment in Poland was at the levelof 6.2 percent. In spring 2020, the family ministry forecasted 10 percent.

Maląg also said that the pandemic had reduced Poland's GDP by only 2.8 percent, against a 7.4 percent EU average. Deputy State Assets Minister Maciej Małecki said that Poland's GDP growth was expected at 4 percent this year, with favourable forecasts for the coming years.

"Aid measures for industries affected by the pandemic account for over 9.4 percent of our GDP. This places us on the podium among the European Union countries," Maląg added.

Development, Labour and Technology Deputy Minister Olga Semeniuk said the government was prepared, over the coming weeks and months, to extend existing aid schemes for enterprises if the pandemic makes this necessary.

She added that special aid would be directed to the northern Warmińsko-Mazurskie province, where the Covid-19 mortality rate is especially high.

Maląg also said that large investment projects were being carried out despite the pandemic. As an example, she named a planned countrywide network of 30 social-aid centres for young people, senior citizens and the disabled, the first of which was currently under construction in Żyrardów.