SOME OF THE TOP BUSINESS LEADERS IN SPAIN HAVE SAID THAT THE COSTA-DEL-SOL, IN PARTICULAR COULD SOON TURN IN TO A “FINANCIAL DISASTER ZONE” DUE TO ITS RELIANCE ON THE TOURISM INDUSTRY.
Over 200 companies in the Malaga region have applied for Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTEs) and are laying off thousands of staff.
A total of 132 Hotels have now closed, as reported earlier by the EWN there were thousands of British Ex-Pats stuck in their rooms at the start of the week waiting for flight confirmations. Under Spanish law, workers who are temporarily laid off can claim unemployment benefits.
Staff could be out of work for as long as five weeks after the Spanish government said the state of emergency order will last longer than 15 days.
“We fear this will only get worse and these people might lose their jobs for good,”
According to the president of the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), Luis Callejón, correspond to establishments on the Costa del Sol. Callejón already predicted at the beginning of the week what is now happening, applications for dozens of ERTEs with the responses to the inactivity forced by the coronavirus.
The Tourism Minister, Juan Marín estimates the damage to the sector to be at least 6,000 million euros. He also said his department is looking at several scenarios including ways to re-launch the industry after the pandemic is over.
One of the peculiarities of this crisis is that it is not exclusive to one sector. Although the effect on the tourist industry is already clear, with hotels and restaurants greatly disadvantaged, there are other many other areas coming under fire.
One of them is the car industry. “Almost all car dealers are applying for the relief,” said Muñoz, who also spoke of some meat and large bakeries that were responsible for supplying hotels going to the wall.
The president of the Malaga Automotive Association, Carlos Oliva, admitted that most of the sector “has requested or will request” a file. “We have had to close most businesses as customer mobility is limited and to ensure worker safety,” there are 1,800 companies in the province that employ around 5,000 people.
The list of firms that benefit from the employment regulation measures is updated by the minute. An example of this is that last Wednesday, according to the CCOO general secretary, Fernando Muñoz said he was aware of at least 7 seven business an hour applying for help, and that number is increasing by the day.
Spain is one of the worst affected European countries in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 14,000 recorded cases and 600 deaths so far.
Spanish authorities have said that they are considering turning vacant hotels into makeshift hospitals, to help ease pressure on the country’s healthcare system.
It is understood that the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon in Madrid will become the first “medicalised hotel” this week.