On 23 July 2020, the Cyprus – Spain, Cyprus – Italy, Cyprus – Greece Business Associations held an online panel discussion on “South Europe’s economic and tourism recovery outlook in a post-Covid-19 environment”. The speakers of the event were Ambassador Mr. Kornilios Korniliou, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Theochari Lalaco – Ambassador of Greece in Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Andrea Cavallari – Ambassador of Italy in Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Álvaro Castillo-Aguilar – Ambassador of Spain in Cyprus, Mr. Manousos Tsouchlarakis – Chief Financial Officer at “Zeus International” and Mr. Thanos Michaelides- Member of the Board of the Cyprus Hotels Association. The discussion was moderated by Savvas Klitou, President of Cyprus – Spain Business Association, Director, Tax Services at Baker Tilly Cyprus.
In his introduction, Cyprus – Spain Business Association’s President, Savvas Klitou, pointed to the fact that in southern Europe — stretching from Portugal to Greece the return of the tourist has been sluggish amid new Covid-19 outbreaks in some countries. In Italy, the hotel bookings are down 80%, in Greece the ferries that carry tourists between the islands have lost more than half the number of passengers they once had.
The prediction for 2020 for Eurozone which consists of 19 European Economies is that the economy will fall by 9% and will gradually increase by 6% in 2021. With discussions about the proposal for the creation of a €750 billion recovery fund, financed by loans between the Member States, held last week in Brussel, now it is awaited for the final agreement which is expected to be a mix of both grants and loans.
During the panel discussion, the speakers stressed the importance of EU member states in becoming more united on battling the consequences of the Covid19 pandemic with streamlined and coherent policies regarding travelling within and out of the EU through the digitization of medical checks and travel logs.
It was mentioned, that although most countries in southern Europe are heavily reliant on tourism, it is vital that the recovery funds made available to member states are used to build strong and diversified economies which will be their biggest ally moving into 2021 and hopefully a post-Covid-19 era.
The online panel discussion recording is available on https://www.livemedia.gr/southeurope