Greece’s accommodation professionals are calling on the government to reconsider plans to liberalize short-term tourist rentals as recently requested by the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA), warning that a potential decision in this direction would in effect endorse unfair competition practices.
In a letter on Thursday, to Alternate Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou, the Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises (SETKE) – representing over 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses – is describing the plans as “a platform for the destruction of Greek tourism”, adding that the unfair competitive practices will take a toll on both businesses and the national economy.
In its letter, SETKE President Panagiotis Tokouzis underlines that licensed businesses “pay 100 percent of our tax in advance, income-related insurance contributions, solidarity payments, trade fees, etc”.
The letter goes on to say that should the government proceed with the freeing of the sharing economy it will not only lose taxes but also “force” accommodation entrepreneurs to resort to shady business practices in efforts to remain above water.
“It appears that property owners: doctors, lawyers, motorists, farmers, public and private employees who do not know what to do with their properties have decided, apart from their own profession, to step into ours and successfully so to the benefit of the national economy,” the letter reads.
SETKE goes on to add that it accepts this new reality as long as individuals wishing to rent out their properties as tourist accommodation facilities apply for and receive the necessary license as well as declare taxes.