According to an amendment presented to lawmakers Monday night by the ministries of Economy and Tourism, when it comes to projects promoting the country as a destination, the Greek National Tourism Organization will be granted the power to authorize direct concessions valued at amounts in excess of the 20,000-euro general ceiling per project which applies to all other direct concessions.
According to the amendment, the GNTO will be able to award such contracts directly within three months of the directive’s publication. The maximum value per project, meanwhile, is expected to be 209,000 euros (not including VAT), more than 10 times the 20,000-euro limit.
The authors of the amendment are in such a hurry to get it passed that the State General Accounting Office has not had the chance to assess any fiscal impacts it might have and has restricted itself to a vague statement saying the ministry has assured it that no expenses will be incurred by the state budget or the budgets of government agencies.
The three-month window has also raised questions over whether the Tourism Ministry is adequately prepared to start promoting Greece in time for next year.