Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte criticized the European Union tourism plan project this could allow so-called special green corridors between the bloc countries, and threatened that it could cause Italy to leave the EU.
The suggested tourism corridors would allow some countries with low or sharply declining Covid-19 infection rates to open to a few selected destinations until the borders are fully reopened.
“We do not accept bilateral agreements within the European Union which will create privileged tourist routes,” Conte said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“[Tourism] cannot be conditioned by bilateral agreements or we will be outside the European Union, we will never allow it, “he added, stressing that tourism represents up to 13% of Italian GDP.
Conte’s comments come as the EU debates whether to allow so-called “green corridors” or “travel bubbles” between countries based on their epidemiological situation.
Conte said he told the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, that these “corridors” would mean the “destruction” of the EU single market.
the losses on the Italian tourism sector due to the coronavirus could be around 120 billion euros (130 billion dollars) until the end of the year, according to the Confcommercio of the Italian Confederations. Up to 420,000 jobs and 270,000 businesses in commerce and tourism are also at risk.
The Italian government has allocated 5 billion euros ($ 5.4 billion) to support the tourism and culture sector in its stimulus package of 55 billion euros ($ 60 billion) to help the country recover from the economic crisis of the coronavirus crisis.
This includes tax cuts for business owners, a vacation bonus of € 500 ($ 540) for families with an income of less than 40,000 euros to travel to Italy and the extension of valid hotel vouchers from 12 to 18 months, announced the Minister of Tourism, Dario Francheschini, Thursday.
CLARIFICATION: The title has been updated to indicate that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has criticized the European Union plan, which could allow special so-called green corridors.