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Greek Minister Pledges Support for the ‘People in Tourism’

Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas

Tax breaks and job support are among the measures taken by the Greek government to help tourism professionals impacted by the Covid-19 health crisis to make it through the “hard winter ahead”, said Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas.

Speaking at the Kos Hoteliers Association general assembly recently, Konsolas referred to government support measures aimed at keeping businesses above water and ensuring that jobs are not lost due to the Covid-19 shock on the economy.

Actions taken to address the repercussions of the coronavirus health crisis on local tourism businesses, include a series of tax breaks, the launch of a 600-million-euro “Save for Tourism” program aimed at supporting the sector and developing sustainable hotels; a second round of grants; the extension of VAT tax cuts in transport and F&B, as well as reductions in social security contributions.

The deputy minister also referred to actions taken by the government to back jobs as well as the unemployed, including a two-month extension of unemployment benefits; the reduction in social security contributions required for seasonal staff to be eligible for unemployment benefits; extending the contract suspension period to October to avoid dismissals; as well as additional time for the deferment of tax payments.

Lastly, Konsolas said the government was examining the possibility of supporting the participation of seasonal employees and unemployed in training programs.

“The year ahead, 2021, will be a difficult year for Greek tourism. It’s time to discuss the next day in Greek tourism. Through the utilization of Recovery Fund and NSRF resources, we are given the opportunity to plan this next day. The tourism ministry has already submitted its proposal for the utilization of Recovery Fund resources in order for tourism to acquire a greater growth impetus,” Konsolas said.

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