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Greek Hoteliers Wait To Be Paid By Libyan Government

Several hotels in Athens and Thessaloniki are near a financial crunch as the unpaid bills for the hosting of Libyan rebel fighters are now near some 30 million euros, the Greek press said last month.

According to press reports, Greek and Libyan authorities have been in negotiations for two months about the payment of 150 million euros, which covers the costs of hospitals, hotels, travel agencies and other services for fighters transported to Greece for treatment.

In the latest news, the Libyan government said it would soon settle half of the 150-million-euro bill for the care of its fighters.

In Athens, 13 hotels joined the initiative to accommodate Libyan fighters and according to reports, the city hoteliers are owed some 17 million euros.

The president of the Athens-Attica Hotel Association, Alexandros Vassilikos, told the press that the extended stay of wounded fighters in Athens had been a significant boost to hotels.

He underlined that with the slump in tourism in Athens and general instability, the hotels were not only open to such cooperation but “in absolute need of it.”

In Thessaloniki, 16 hotels are accommodating Libyans and are owed some 9.5 million euros. It is said that many of those hotels are struggling financially.

It is reminded that during the recent civil war in Libya (February-October 2011) and by request of the Libyan authorities, Greek private hospitals and hotels organized a short duration hospitalization and hosting program for the injured.

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