NEWS

Tourism, jobs top list of priorities

tourism-jobs-top-list-of-priorities

As Greece enters the summer season, rescuing the tourism industry and saving as many jobs as possible are the government’s top priorities.

Regarding tourism, the government is in the process of drawing up a comprehensive plan, but it is clear that much will depend on the decisions taken by the European Union and, above all, on the health of the public that will shape the Greek tourism market.

In any case, Athens will seek interstate agreements with non-EU countries such as Israel. On the down side, the plan to strike bilateral agreements with member-states of the Union is reportedly looking wobbly, as specific countries have expressed strong objections, starting with Italy first.

Greece will also seek to draw visitors from neighboring countries, and will hold a summit via teleconference tomorrow with Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania which will focus on tourism.

With regard to jobs, the government is banking on the support of the European SURE program as a key tool, from which Athens expects to raise about 1.5 billion euros.

Through the program, the government will subsidize part of the salary and possibly insurance contributions of those who have been forced into part-time employment or rotation work. Reportedly, the program will help all the affected sectors and will last at least until September and for a maximum of six months.

The employment subsidy will apply to a specific number of employees of each company and will only apply to those who had a full-time employment contract before the crisis.

The initial goal was to launch SURE in June, but the disbursement of funds may be delayed. That is why, according to sources, the government has decided to begin, possibly on June 1, with national resources, which will then be returned, as they will be replaced by European ones.