The Minister council has approved in its meeting this Thursday an aid for the hotel group Julia worth 38 million euros and another for the restaurant group Mediterranean for another 28 million euros under the mechanism of bailout of strategic companies managed by the State Company of Industrial Holdings (SEPI). In total, 66 million euros for revive the financial situation of both companies, affected by the coronavirus crisis which meant a halt in economic activity for months.
The aid comes from the Solvency Support Fund, endowed with a total of 10,000 million euros. This mechanism was approved by the Government last July with the aim of providing temporary public support for strengthen the solvency of non-financial companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic that are considered strategic for the national or regional productive fabric.
“They are groups of strategic nature from the field of sightseeing“, defended the minister spokesperson, Elizabeth Rodriguez. As he specified, this injection of money is expected to maintain employment “of more than 10,000 workers of these two important companies in this country.” “What it is about is avoid its closure and guarantee its continuity to the economy,” Rodríguez added.
The first of the rescued companies was Air Europa for 475 million euros, followed by the rescue of 120 million euros for the Asturian engineering company Duro Felguera and the controversial 53 million destined for the airline Plus Ultra, which marked a before and after in the process. Ávoris, the company resulting from the integration of the Barceló and Globalia groups, has also received public support for a total amount of 320 million euros; either the Hotusa hotel group (241 million euros), among others.
Most of the bailouts correspond to the tourism sector, one of the most affected by the covid crisis. The sightseeing In 2019, it represented 12.4% of the national GDP in Spain (154,487 million euros of activity) and absorbed 13.7% of Social Security affiliation, being the main direct employer with 2.7 million people. This was the second country in the world that attracted the most foreign tourists, more than 83 million in 2019; however, the coronavirus had a negative impact on the sector, of between 60% and 80% in 2020, which, despite being in the process of recovery, has not yet been fully resolved.