THE 4.5 million unemployed in Spain at the moment are a major drain on the resources of the Spanish government. Now I would say that a sizeable part of Spain´s army of unemployment work in the tourist industry. So why doesn´t the government offer businesses which remain open tax breaks and even incentives. They could even reduce the social security bill of those businesses in resorts which stay open. If hotels, bars and restaurants do not close in the winter then resorts will not become ghosts towns, it will broadcast the right message to the tour operators and perhaps there could be more flights during the winter as a direct result. At the moment the tourist industry has a cosy arrangement with the government. Employees work for six months of the year and they receive benefit during the winter months. Six months on and six months off. The problem at the moment is that the season gets shorter every year and in some cases hotel staff have only been offered employment for four months, which means that they will not receive their full unemployment entitlement. The government needs to be working with the tourist industry to ensure that it becomes a-round-year industry not one that closes during the winter. This is the way forward.
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