NICOSIA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus government will be preparing a package of "budgetary measures" to shore up economy which was affected by the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Wednesday.
"The developing crisis justifies state intervention to support businesses and job positions, workers' rights and even consumption," Petrides said after a meeting with business associations and trade unions officials.
He referred to an upcoming meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers to consider ways to support the economies of the single currency countries, but added that irrespective of any Eurogroup decisions, the government will prepare a supplementary budget providing for tax relief, grants and support measures to affected businesses.
Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Zeta Emilianidou, who attended the meeting, said they discussed ways to handle the cases of businesses which will suspend operations and problems which hotels and related sectors will be faced with during the coronavirus crisis.
She also said that people restricted by order of the Ministry of Health will be compensated by the Social Insurance Fund for the days they will be away from work.
The Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) said on Wednesday that tour operators and travel agents are on the verge of collapse and have no option but to go cap-in-hand to the government for financial support measures.
"Our daily work now consists of cancellations and more cancellations," ACTA president Vasilis Stamataris told a news conference, adding that losses were currently running at around 30 million euros from the collapsed sales.
Tourism was hit by the global coronavirus epidemic with a combination of travel restrictions and fear of being infected that prompts cancellations.
Hoteliers have already said March was a complete write-off even before Cyprus had its own first confirmed case, with the months of April and May being "numb" as regards bookings.
The Hoteliers Association said hotels will delay re-opening for a month and when they do so they will not hire their entire staff.