Christos Staikouras

Greece’s Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the government will focus its efforts in May on supporting the restaurant and hospitality sectors while it will also support real estate owners who collected a reduced rent during the lockdown.

The Minister made the comments on Monday during an interview on ERT TV adding that his ministry was also moving forward with procedures to subsidise mortgage loans on primary residences.

Staikouras noted that Greece was expecting to collect at least 1.4 billion euros from the SURE programme promoted by the European Commission to support employment. This money will be distributed to support workers’ incomes. The SURE program is expected to begin in June.

The Minister’s statement follow recent media articles noting Greece’s attempts to ‘save’ the summer season given the economy is so heavily dependent on the tourism and hospitality industry.

German newspaper “Bild am Sonntag” on Sunday, in a six-page spread on holiday possibilities for Germans at home and abroad, under the headline “Is the summer saved?” said that Greece, Austria and Croatia are among the European countries that definitely want to get tourism going again, while it quotes Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis and points out that, according to him, “the summer of 2020 is not yet lost.”

The paper quotes statements by Theoharis, in which the minister expresses hope that Greece will be supported by the country that traditionally sends the highest number of tourists to Greece, namely Germany, and describes Germans as “our best tourism partner.”