ECONOMY

Airport tax cut for winter flights to Athens

Faced with an ongoing economic recession and soaring unemployment, the prime minister announced measures to help enterprises late on Wednesday, in response to a number of specific market demands.

George Papandreou stated that third-party levies on ferry tickets are to be abolished, as agreed upon by the maritime affairs minister and coastal shippers a day earlier, and that the airport tax for a number of flights to Athens during the winter season will be reduced.

He also announced the creation of a new tourism product to be offered exclusively by four- and five-star hotels, as well as that the hotel classification system will be subject to change.

Addressing a general meeting of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) in Athens, the prime minister said the government is to go ahead with revising the issue of copyright so as to avoid problems in the business world and will reduce social security contributions for entrepreneurs who pay them in full and on time.

“We will not emerge from the crisis through a magic recipe, but through major changes and reforms,» Papandreou stressed in his address.

He added that the government is also considering the creation of a special agency to handle and license tourism investment initiatives that cannot join the Fast Track process.

On Thursday the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry announced electricity rate cuts for commercial and industrial enterprises on the medium-voltage network, following a recommendation by the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The ministry explained that the decision was taken in view of the economic problems being faced by a number of companies. The rate cuts will apply to bills that will be issued from June 1.