At the proposal of the Ministries of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and Labor, Migration and Social Security, the Council of Ministers today approved the royal decree-law by which urgent measures are taken to alleviate the effects of the insolvency of the Thomas business group Cook, as well as the strengthening and improvement of the competitiveness of the Spanish tourism sector.
For Minister Reyes Maroto, “the Government has worked intensely to coordinate the work of public administrations with the private sector in order to define a package of measures that is specified in this royal decree-law with which we want to minimize as much as possible effects of the insolvency of Thomas Cook, but also improve the competitiveness and adaptation of the tourism sector, which is key in the Spanish economy, to the new global market trends ”.
Thus, in the text of the royal decree-law it is explained that the seriousness of the current situation and the need to adopt measures immediately make a normative action that offers a rapid response essential, so that the royal decree-law is the appropriate instrument , given that the measures included in it "respond to a situation of extraordinary and urgent need."
It also highlights the objective of promoting “the essential replacement of the dependence that the aforementioned operator was subjected to many companies, for alternative solutions more linked to the information society, digitalization and with greater diversification to which these companies must adapt with immediate character. "
The actions and measures respond, mainly, to a principle of temporality and attend to all the Autonomous Communities affected, and especially to the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands because they are singularly affected territories and more sensitive to the exceptional circumstances previously indicated.
The actions and measures constitute the necessary complement to those already adopted by the competent bodies in the area of airports and transit and air transport, aimed at ensuring air connectivity with the most affected territories.
SUMMARY OF THE CONTENT OF THE ROYAL DECREE-LAW
This Royal Decree-Law is composed of four chapters, divided into six articles, two additional provisions, a transitional provision, a
repealing provision and three final provisions.
CHAPTER II – Employment and Social Security Measures
Article 2 establishes measures to support the extension of the period of activity of workers with discontinuous fixed contracts in the tourism and commerce and hospitality sectors linked to tourism for companies with work centers in the Autonomous Communities of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
The bonus provided for in article 9 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2019, of March 8, on urgent measures of social protection and the fight against job insecurity during the workday, will be applied, on an exceptional basis, during the October and December 2019, and February and March 2020, in addition to the months provided in that article.
Article 3 contemplates that the Public State Employment Service and the Autonomous Communities will coordinate, within the scope of their respective competences, unemployment protection and the execution of their active employment policies to respond to the situation of affected workers For this exceptional situation.
CHAPTER III – Financial support measures
Article 4 provides financial support measures to the tourism sector consisting of instructing the Government to approve a financing line of up to 200 million euros in order to meet the financial needs of those affected.
Article 5 establishes, with the objective of recovering the loss of connectivity, consolidating diversification and improving the destination, the direct granting of the following subsidies:
a) To the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, for an amount of 15 million euros.
b) To the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, for an amount of 8 million euros.
CHAPTER IV – State Financial Fund for Tourism Competitiveness
Article 6 regulates the 'State Financial Fund for Tourism Competitiveness' (formerly 'State Financial Fund for the Modernization of Tourism Infrastructures'), which will aim to financially support projects that develop tourism businesses aimed at adaptation and improvement of competitiveness, especially those that contain actions of digitalization, innovation and modernization of services, making companies available up to € 500 million.
The execution of this initiative will be channeled under the FOCIT -signed to the Secretary of State for Tourism-, and its financial administration will be carried out by the Official Credit Institute.
FIRST ADDITIONAL PROVISION – General information measures
The first additional provision provides for the establishment by the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the Autonomous Communities, of general information measures for companies facing debt recovery in the context of insolvency proceedings of companies of the Thomas Cook group.
SECOND ADDITIONAL PROVISION – Strengthening the Smart Tourist Destinations Strategy
The second additional provision provides that the Government will allocate € 1,485,000 to SEGITTUR – a company under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism – in order to support the transformation of destinations within the framework of the Smart Tourist Destinations Strategy, an instrument at the service of promoting good practices in the field of sustainable development, modernization, increased profitability, seasonally adjusted and more efficient management of cargo capacity.