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Sun vouchers 'could draw Germans to Greece'
Photo: DPA

Sun vouchers 'could draw Germans to Greece'

Published: 17 Jul 2012 12:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Jul 2012 12:47 GMT+02:00

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition called on Tuesday to create subsidies for holidays in the sun-kissed southern European countries hit hardest by the debt crisis.

As Germans shiver through a chilly, wet summer, European Parliament deputy Jorgo Chatzimarkakis of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), junior partners in Merkel's government, said Berlin should offer incentives to head south.

"Some kind of state-sponsored bonus that encourages Germans to travel to Greece, for example, at the last minute could be the beginning of a European stimulus programme," Chatzimarkakis, a German of Greek descent, told the mass-circulation daily Bild.

Erwin Lotter, an FDP deputy in the German lower house of parliament, said the proposal would be a win-win for sun-starved Germans and cash-strapped countries crying out for euros generated from tourism.

"Policymakers and industry should get together to sweeten the deal," he told Bild.

Most of the countries suffering from the turmoil are on the eurozone's southern periphery, with Greece, Spain and Portugal seeking bailouts and Italy struggling to tame its mountain of debt. All rely heavily on tourism.

Greece in particular reported a sharp decline in German bookings in the wake of the crisis, with Germans feeling skittish about visiting the country amid public anger over Merkel's hard line on its debt woes.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:57 July 17, 2012 by Floriansamsel
No bonus whatsoever could induce me to travel to Greece these days.
14:08 July 17, 2012 by smart2012
Good idea. This will help to make majority of Germans affording holidays in south of Europe.. That is why now they go to turkey.. I would vote for this.
19:08 July 17, 2012 by PNWDev
Great, government-subsidized vacations from a German of Greek descent who thinks like a Greek. Not only does he want Germany to become more like Greece, but now we can all go and watch them burn German flags live and in-person.

Another brilliant bailout plan endorsed by smartguy.
19:34 July 17, 2012 by cheeba
Why not drop all of the schemes and just send the German money south? We can accomplish this by raising the German retirement age to 75 for men and women, reduce Germans vacation times to two weeks a year, this will free up hundreds of billions for club med. Problem solved.
22:28 July 17, 2012 by gorongoza
Mr Chatzimarkakis is very "innovative and courageous". As a taxpayer I would like to enlist your services Sir to campaign for a reduction in taxes - Lohnsteuer und Mehrwertsteuer here in Germany. I suppose Greece will welcome you for your intellect. Or else isn`t it people of similar thinking who sunk Greece?

You are the typical person who thinks money in Germany grows on trees and the German government simply pluck it and give it to people.

Sir your ideas are bizarre,to say the least, considering that you are in Germany and you are aware how much the taxpayer is struggling to make ends meet. For you to suggest holiday subsidies (payed by the taxpayer) shows how insensitive you are to the heavily burdened taxpayer . Maybe this is an indication of how bancrupt of good ideas you are.

Those with good ideas think of generating money through productive means - and this is how Greece (where your heart lies) should do. Your idea of German indirect aid to Greece is a still birth: Germany government is not an endless pit of gold as you would like to think.

Instead of relying on the service industry (tourism) your dear Greece should be courageous and innovative to save itself from the quagmire it finds itself in.
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