HeMinister councilhas approved today via Royal Decree Lawa package of urgent measuresworth ofmore than 700 million euros to alleviate the effects of the insolvency of the Thomas Cook business group,as well as the strengthening and improvement of the competitiveness of the Spanish tourism sector. Among the measures, a financing line of up to 200 million stands out to serve the affected companies, as well as the availability of others500 million to support the modernization of tourist infrastructure.
The Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Equality in office, Carmen Calvo, said in the subsequent press conference of the Council of Ministers that the Government has launched "a reasonable response to a crisis to dampen in terms of employment and economic activity the situationsuch an important sector of our economy as tourism. "
The vice president explainedthe main measures implemented by the Executive, with special attention to the Balearic and Canary Islands,to try to solve the situation generated by the British operator and try to give a comprehensive response to both workers and companies.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce andtourismActing, Reyes Maroto explained in a press release that the Government has worked "intensely" to coordinate the work of public administrations with the private sector in order to define a package of measures that is specified in this Royal Decree Law "with the that we want to minimize as far as possible the effects of insolvency ofThomas Cook, but alsoimprove competitivenessand the adaptation of the tourism sector, which is key in the Spanish economy, to new global market trends. "
The Royal Decree Law, which is composed of four chapters, divided into six articles, two additional provisions, a transitional provision, a repealing provision and three final provisions, indicates that"the gravity of the situation"they have made a rapid normative action essential to respond to a situation of "extraordinary and urgent need".
The actions and measures respond, mainly, to a principle of temporality and attend to all the affected autonomous communities, andespecially to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands for being territories uniquely affected by the situation.
Financial support measures
Financial support measures include a financing line ofaround 200 million euros to meet the financial needs of the companies affected.In addition, 15 million euros will be allocated to the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islandsand another 8 million to the Balearic Islands "with the objective of recovering the loss of connectivity, consolidating diversification and improving the destination".
The Royal Decree Law also makes available to companies another 500 million euros of the Financial Fund for Tourism Competitiveness that will aim to financially support projects developed by tourism companies aimed at adapting and improving competitiveness, "especially those whocontain actions of digitalization, innovation and modernization of services ".
The execution of this initiative will be channeled under the FOCIT -signed to the Secretary of State for Tourism-, and its financial administration will be carried out by the Official Credit Institute.
In addition the Government will allocatean additional 1.48 million euros additional to Segittur(a company under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism) in order to support the transformation of destinations within the framework of the Smart Tourist Destinations Strategy.
This line of loans is included in the package of thirteen measures approved last week by the Government to address the bankruptcy of the British tourism giant. Among them, the creation ofa commercial incentive for Aena's rates,authorized by the executive board of Aena.
The airlines will have rightsor to exonerate 100% of passenger fares in additional seats for international flights during the winter season.The cost of scale is thus reduced by 38%. In addition, Enaire route rates will also be reduced from January 2020, which will mean a discount of up to 12%.
Social Security Bonuses
Among the most outstanding measures in the Royal Decree Law are the support for the extension of the period of activity of workers with fixed discontinuous contracts linked to the tourism sector in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. So,Social Security bonuses will be increased in discontinuous fixed contracts of up to 50%,which until now were applied in January, March and November, and which will also be extended to the months of October and December.
On the other hand, among the measures to support the companies affected, the plan includes the implementation ofseveral unique windowsin the Treasury of the Social Security and the Tax agency to inform about the possibilities that companies have to defer payment of contributions and some taxes.
Likewise, the Government, in coordination with the autonomous communities, will offer support and information to companies on how to proceed in the bankruptcy process that will be opened to collect the debts of Thomas Cook. In addition, the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) will promote the application of active policies in the Canary and Balearic Islands tofavor the relocation of Thomas Cook workers.
The plan also includes measures to recover tourism demand and improve the destination. Among them a promotion program of Spain as a destination,the development of measures to consolidate the tourism offer of the Canary and Balearic Islands,the reinforcement of the Network of Intelligent Tourist Destinations.
In addition, through the Ministry of Justice, the design ofa legal strategyin defense of the general interests with the objective of demanding responsibilities from the Thomas Cook company.
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