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Politics

Petsas: The Government’s Tourism Plan Will Be Coherent

ATHENS – The government's plan for tourism will be coherent, including not just health and travel protocols but also support for labour, taxation and liquidity provided by the state, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday in an interview with ANT1 TV.

He explained that the government's protective umbrella will cover both full-time employees, who will be supported both in terms of their social insurance contributions and in terms of overall payroll costs, as well as seasonal full-time or part-time employees.

"What we are doing is to support this sector, for a sufficient period of time, until turnover returns to satisfactory levels," he explained.

"When you have an economy like that of Greece, whose direct revenue from tourism is about 19 billion euros and in [the first] five months' revenues are below 1 billion, you are at zero," Petsas noted. "We are optimistic now, with the figures appearing on the health front, but also through the plan that we will present, that we will have a better picture in tourism. Therefore, whatever we gain will be a success compared to what we all expected, the government, the employees and the employers in the tourism sector," he added.

He also pointed out that there is strong interest from abroad and that Greece is first in the recommendations of the major travel and tour operators.

"The promotion of the Acropolis and the archaeological sites by all the media everywhere in the world shows that they have turned their attention to Greece. That our country is very important for tourism internationally. Therefore, everyone is waiting to see what Greece is doing. And the opening of the archaeological sites was world news. This also advertises us indirectly and helps us," he underlined, repeating that the government's plan will replace some of the lost revenues from tourism.

"If it reinforces the trust we have gained, then, yes, we will be pleasantly surprised by tourism," he added. Talking about the possibility of bilateral agreements with European countries and countries outside the EU, Petsas said the government "[expects] a satisfactory solution at a European level, without bilateral agreements," adding that non-European countries would make announcements in the coming days.

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