Tourism bill passes committee stage on ruling parties’ votes

This bill process highlighted again the differences between the approach of the government and the approach of the opposition parties regarding tourism development.

A draft bill on tourism that defines the types of tourist housing, outlines operational rules, and simplifies some procedures of setting up businesses, among other things, passed in principle and by article at the Parliament’s Committee of Production and Commerce on Tuesday.

The bill passed on votes by ruling New Democracy and PASOK MPs, whereas main opposition SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and the Communist Party of Greece voted against it, while Democratic Left (DIMAR) withheld judgement. Golden Dawn did not attend the committee meetings.

Attending the committee debate on the bill were also Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni and Federation of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) president Andreas Andreadis.

This bill process highlighted again the differences between the approach of the government and the approach of the opposition parties regarding tourism development.

The rapporteur of New Democracy, Lefteris Avgenakis, defending the simplification of licensing that the bill offers said that “in November 2013 the joint ministerial decision of the Interministerial Committee was published in the Gazette including investments of 267.7 million in Toplou in fast track strategic investments. Fifteen years have passed and now the tourism investment in Cavo Siderou at Lassithi begins, without knowing for sure if investors are still interested. There are not obliged to wait for us… “.

The rapporteur of SYRIZA, Michael Kritsotakis, responded and said that “The case of Toplou is a typical example of investments that should not be proceed. I will only say that even English media mention that the company that will start the project is not reliable and that when we use a fast track for development (and especially on an island), we should be very careful. “

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