Thursday, October 28

The Government softens the demands for bars and restaurants to request an ERTE due to force majeure


A waiter, duly protected, serves a table in an area of ​​pubs in Alicante
HÉCTOR FUENTES

A little oxygen balloon. The new decree on aid to the hospitality sector has incorporated a clause that equates bars, restaurants and cafes (13,000 registered in the province of Alicante) with hotels when raising a ERTE due to force majeure, which speeds up the processing of temporary employment files. The text simplifies aspects such as the one that the owners of these small companies had to justify, until now, the losses caused by the economic crisis derived from the covid. Now, the mere decision to apply for the ERTE will be enough.

Hoteliers admit that it is a step forward, but they warn that the severe crisis they are going through is not solved with the decree, and they demand direct aid of some 2,000 million euros -part that corresponds to the Community of the 8,500 that is needed in Spain-, to avoid a cataract of closings and layoffs. A recession that shakes a sector in which many establishments have not reopened since last March, and with workers in ERTE who have not yet received the benefit that belongs to them, 70% of their salary.

Furthermore, the situation has worsened after the early curfew at 23 hours and, above all, at zero hours on New Year’s Eve next Friday, which has caused an avalanche of dinner cancellations both in bars and restaurants, and also in hotels.

The Provincial Association of Hotels of Alicante In this sense, it calls on the Generalitat to open its hand and extend the curfew until 12.30 am on January 1, to allow customers who have gone out to dinner to eat the grapes with the bells .

THE KEY: NEW YEAR’S EVE. Extend the curfew by half an hour to be able to dine and have the grapes. The businessmen ask the Consell for a gesture to delay the curfew for half an hour, and not miss more dinners on New Year’s Eve

Hoteliers continue to consider insufficient measure plan approved this week by the Government, understanding that it is moving away from the aid that has been claimed from the sector and has been approved in Europe, in countries such as France, Italy and Germany. Two months after the commitment that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, contracted with the sector “has not complied with the rescue plan we need, which involves direct aid to survive, to be able to maintain the economic pulse and resist,” he explains Jose Luis Yzuel, President of Hospitality of Spain.

The lack of direct aid In the government plan it is incomprehensible taking into account what has been approved in other European countries, where the weight of the tourism sector is much less in GDP or in job creation compared to Spain. Germany has already launched direct aid of more than 10,000 million euros, in addition to having approved important VAT reductions and measures to promote demand, and France joins the sector’s specific support and, in addition to approving consumer bonds, it also grants direct aid for an amount of ten thousand euros per establishment.

The decree involves five ministries, but is, according to the hoteliers, very little in terms of content. Among the announced measures is the obligation of large property holders – those who own more than ten leased premises – to apply a 50% reduction in rents for the duration of the state of alarm – in principle May 2021 -, and their possible extensions, plus four additional months. «This measure will not affect more than 3% of the hospitality sector. The plan falls short and lame, and leaves thousands of families that depend on the sector unprotected, “adds Yzuel.

THE FIGURE: 40%. The hotels reach 40% occupancy on Christmas Day. The establishments have achieved, especially in Benidorm, an average occupancy of 40% with local tourism

Regarding the FOR HIMis the only good news, since its extension to bars and restaurants has been approved by force majeure. “We are glad that this time our incorporation is taken into account, but important details are missing and the fine print will have to be read well,” Yzuel clarifies.

To these measures, others are added in tax matter, but no direct aid is incorporated -denounce the hoteliers- for a sector that only in the month of December, due to the restrictions on mobility in the different autonomous communities, will suffer a business loss of 6,000 million euros in Spain , and about a thousand in the Valencian Community.

In addition, if the Government does not launch a direct aid plan with 8,500 million euros, «which we know are necessary to rescue the sector, we will go to a scenario of loss of more than a million jobs, between direct and indirect, and the 100,000 stores closed», Warns Yzuel.

The employers demand measures to ensure a urgent rescue plan in coordination with the autonomous communities, and that municipalities incorporate economic measures to alleviate the economic effects of the pandemic and the declaration of a state of alarm. The plan must also contemplate the automatic moratorium on the grace periods for the main credits, the modification of the rental regulations, and the extension of the ERTE until June 2021 ».


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