Greek PM Outlines 24 Billion Euro Plan to Kick-Start Tourism, Economy



Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined a plan on Wednesday to kick-start the Greek economy with a 24 billion euro program ($26.3 billion) to help businesses and employees recover after the coronavirus lockdown.

In a televised address, Mitsotakis spelled out a series of measures, including tax cuts, during the “bridging period,” as he described it, between the lockdown and the return to normalcy.

“We need to demonstrate the same maturity and discipline (as we did during the lockdown), in the coming months,” he said.

“From the period of defending public health to the goal of all-out attack for progress. To gain the time lost in the (coronavirus) storm.”

PM Mitsotakis announced that the tax cuts will include lowering the VAT in public transport fares, open-air cinema ticket prices, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages to 13 percent from 24 percent from June 1 until October 31.

“I never hid the fact that the fight for life will have a heavy economic impact. Besides, all over the world the cost is already huge,” the Greek Premier stated in his address.

Moreover, he said, worker salaries in the tourism, catering and industrial sectors will also be subsidized through the European Union’s SURE program, from which Greece expects to receive a total amount in excess of 1.4 billion euros.

The Greek PM also announced that the tourism season will officially begin on June 15 and international flights will be welcomed into the country on July 1. Health officials will conduct sample coronavirus testing at Greek airports and therefore no COVID-19 testing before arrival in the country is needed. There will also be no 14-day quarantine.

“Our visitors will undergo test sampling and our general health protocols will be observed, which will not overshadow, however, either our bright sun or the natural beauty of Greece,” he stressed.

“Our weapon is the passport of security, reliability and health that our country has won. Its great fame. The shield of health, in every place of hospitality. And of course, the passion of the Greek who is always inspired by Xenios Zeus,” the Prime Minister stressed.

According to Greek mythology, the god Zeus was known for his hospitality to strangers.