Main opposition SYRIZA sparked the negative reaction of Greece’s tourism sector when it suggested for the decision that recognizes the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) as a coordinate institutional national social partner to the Greek Government, to be repealed.
The suggestion was made in a proposed draft law submitted by SYRIZA that seeks to restore the minimum wage and collective bargaining for labor agreements.
SETE was recognized as a national social partner by the Greek Labor Ministry in January 2013 *.
SETE Responds To SYRIZA
In response to SYRIZA’s suggestion, SETE released a joint announcement with the 14 unions** of tourism enterprises and entrepreneurs it represents and underlined that “any debate that aims for Greek tourism to be left out of Social Dialogue, has no logic.”
In its announcement, SETE reminded that tourism is the sector that contributes 20 percent to the GDP, accounts for more than 20 percent of employment, directly brings over 13.5 billion euros in annual national revenue and creates additional demand in the national economy reaching 35 billion euros.
According to Greek social security data, tourism was responsible for 120,000 new jobs that were created during the first seven months of the year, compared to 2013. It fueled the country’s social security system with almost 650 million euros in insurance contributions by July 2014, showing an increase of 20 percent and balancing the losses of other sectors of the economy. This resulted to the income of pension funds to remain constant.
SETE added that tourism is the sector of the Greek economy that enhances entrepreneurship and innovation, supports regional development, cultural identity and social cohesion.
“Tourism, the most dynamic sector of the economy that does not have any partisan color, should not be a field of political expediency and should stay away from partisan squabbling,” SETE concluded.
* In January 2013, the Greek Labor Ministry recognized the tourism sector’s contribution to the growth and support of employment and announced the upgrading of SETE to a coordinate institutional national social partner. As a result, SETE could participate as a social partner in the consultation on the legislatively determined minimum wage and take part in collective bargaining for the conclusion of the National General Collective Employment Agreement (EGSSE) along with the other national employer organisations. As a social partner, SETE is also included in all collective bodies and representations of the country, where the participation of social partners is needed.
** The 14 Pan-Hellenic Unions of Tourism Enterprises that SETE represents include HHF (Hellenic Hotel Federation), SEEDDE (Business Confederation of Rented Rooms and Apartments of Greece), SΕΕΝ (Association of Passenger Shipping Companies), HAPCO (Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers), HATTA (Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies), HPYOA (Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association), GSRA (Greek Car Rental Companies Association), GEPOET (General Pan – Hellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises), HACA (Hellenic Air Carriers Association), ELIME (Hellenic Ports Association), AGECO (Association of Greek Exhibition & Conference Organisers), SΑΑΕ (Hellenic Association of Airline Representatives), GMA (Greek Marinas Association) and S.EP.O.A (Association of Organised Branded Food Service Chains).