surinenglish

Spain's tourism sector fears that government aid will arrive so late that it will have no effect

An empty beach on one of Spain's Costas.
An empty beach on one of Spain's Costas. / EFE
  • Employers have also demanded that the ERTE furlough scheme be extended until the end of the year and layoffs be allowed: "I prefer an operating company with eight workers than a shut down one with 10," said the CEOE trade body president

The Spanish economy depends on the tourism sector but there is still no certainty that, given national and international travel restrictions, it will recover this summer.

Representatives of the sector debated the future of tourism, this Wednesday, at a forum organised by the employers' association, CEOE.

Its president, Antonio Garamendi, called for the ERTE furlough scheme that runs until 31 May be extended as long as necessary but at least until December. He also asked for the clause for maintaining employment be amended to allow layoffs to help stay afloat. "I prefer an operating company with eight workers than a shut down one with 10," he insisted, arguing, "The only way for that company to have 10 again is for it to have eight now."

In addition, the president of the CEOE asked the central government to reconsider the maximum amount of 200,000 euros per company in direct aid from the seven-billion-euro pot that has recently approved.

In the same vein, Jorge Marichal, president of Cehat (Spanish accommodation confederation) said that if the direct aid is available to companies “in three or four months, it will not have the same effect it would have now.”

He also called on individual towns to reduce municipal rates that businesses have been paying despite not using those services for a year.