Serbia offers loans to travel agencies and no sectoral assistance

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Minister of Finance of Serbia, Sinisa Mali, offered travel agencies only liquidity loans in the Development Fund instead of sector support, said the director of the National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (JUTA), Aleksandar Senicic.
He told Beta that Mali, at a meeting with representatives of the tourism and catering industry at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, said that the conditions for liquidity loans would be somewhat milder and that the interest rate would be one percent.
After announcing the package of aid to the economy and citizens, Mali promised sectoral support for the most endangered, and recently said that there were no technical possibilities by lifting the state of emergency, and then, under pressure from that part of the economy, he promised that possibilities would be considered.
“Instead of the promised non-refundable sector support, they offered us loans, and the loans are not help but commercial support, not so welcome now when there is no income due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic,” Senicic said.
He added that Mali promised a simpler procedure for loans, faster approval and a grace period of two years with a repayment period of three years.
Senicic also said that the state does not demand that the condition for the loan be a ban on laying off workers.
“I am afraid that small agencies with up to five employees will not be able to fulfill the conditions that have not been specified yet, but have only been verbally promised,” he said.
He also said that tourist and rent-car organizations employ about 7,000 workers and that probably 30 percent of them will be fired.
“Serbia is the only country in Europe, and perhaps in the world, that has not helped tourist organizations with special measures,” Senicic said, Beta reports.