Erdoğan extends pandemic wage support, says economy in strong recovery

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Monday that Turkey would extend a pandemic wage support system for one month to offset the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Hürrriyet newspaper reported.

The Turkish president, who made the announcement following a cabinet meeting, said cash aid to families in need would also be extended for a month and a total of 18 billion lira ($2.6 billion) had been disbursed to low-income families so far under two programmes, Hürriyet said.

Accordingly, short labour pay, a stipend partially covering wages of formally employed workers whose hours are cut due to the pandemic, are set to extend into July. 

The short labour pay came into effect in March, when Turkey confirmed its first coronavirus case. 

Preliminary economic data for this June points to Turkey  being in a "very strong recovery period," state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Erdoğan as saying.

"Turkey's 4.5% growth in the first quarter is the greatest proof of the economy's power and potential," Erdoğan said, stressing that Turkey would become one of the world's "star countries" to reshape itself after the pandemic.

Turkey's economy was on the recovery path after a deep two-year recession when the pandemic hit. The lira plunged to its lowest level in history -  7.49 against the dollar - in May. The currency has since shown recovery, but experts predict that the country’s economy will contract by 3.5 percent this year.

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