ECONOMY

SETE asks for drastic support for tourism

sete-asks-for-drastic-support-for-tourism

The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) has called for a series of measures to grant a degree of relief to the sector’s enterprises following Washington’s decision to suspend all flights between the US and the European Union for 30 days, a move certain to aggravate the already difficult conditions in the tourism domain due to the coronavirus epidemic.

SETE proposes measures of immediate effect and others for the restoration of the smooth operation of the economy and the strengthening of corporate competitiveness. The immediate measures proposed are the following:

– The reduction by 100 percent of non-salary costs for employers while employees continue to pay their social security contributions, so as to cut corporate costs and maintain jobs.

– The suspension of tax and social security obligations including debt settlement tranches until May 31, with a possible extension beyond that date too.

– A program to subsidize social security contributions for the retaining and rehiring of staff for tourism corporations.

– The reduction by 30 days of the necessary amount of time worked per annum for staff in the hotel sector to qualify for the unemployment benefit in the winter, along with a rise in the daily jobless handouts from 400 to 500 per four-year period especially for 2021.

– For airlines using Greek airports, part of the fees paid per passenger or per flight to the state should not be retained by the carriers until May 31 – with a possible extension of that date.

– The provision of cash flows to tourism companies with a 100 percent state guarantee using bank criteria, with lending depending on the state of each corporation.

– The suspension of loan repayment tranches for tourism enterprises until December 31, with an extension to the period of repayment.

To restore the economy’s function and boost the competitiveness of companies, SETE is proposing the reduction of value-added tax on accommodation to 6 percent and on food service to 3 percent from the year’s second half, the reduction of VAT on domestic transport to 13 percent for the same period, and the strengthening of tourism promotion activity.