BUSINESS

Moody’s: Greece can weather a prolonged tourism slump

The slump in tourism for Greece and other southern European countries may last beyond 2020, but their credit rating is resilient, credit rating agency Moody’s said yesterday.

“Tourists’ lingering concerns about health and safety, quarantine rules and the economic downturn triggered by the crisis mean the current slump is increasingly likely to last beyond this summer,” said Sarah Carlson, Moody’s senior vice president.

Jobs, economic growth and public debt are most vulnerable in Portugal, Greece, Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Croatia and Italy, but most have rebuilt credit strengths after the euro debt crisis.

“Many of the countries that are vulnerable to the tourism downturn have sources of economic, institutional and fiscal resilience that allow for ratings stability despite the economic and fiscal impact of the pandemic,” said Petter Bryman, Moody’s AVP-analyst.

There is also significant backup through the policies of the European Central Bank and the new emergency recovery fund. But there is a lot still to be done to deal with bad loans, Moody’s remarks.

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