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Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni calls for stricter measures for short-term rentals

Featured Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni calls for stricter measures for short-term rentals

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni is pushing for even stricter measures on short-term rentals.

Ms. Kefalogianni requests that the institutional framework for the operation of "Airbnb" units be assimilated as much as possible to that of hotel units.

She even made sure to state this position publicly and directly to the Minister of National Economy and Finance Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis during his participation in a joint panel of the conference on tourism organized by travel.gr and Proto Thema.

Ms. Kefalogianni expressed a different position compared to the minister regarding the scope of government intervention in short-term leases.

The Ministry of Tourism, according to information, submitted proposals to the bill of the Ministry of Finance which is in public consultation, but which Mr. Hatzidakis probably did not accept.

The proposals

These proposals, the information mentions, relate to the legislation of mainly operational requirements for short-term rental properties similar to those that apply to hotels. According to these short-term rental properties, they must meet certain conditions, e.g. they must not be underground, semi-underground, have natural light, have fire safety, civil liability insurance, mycicide and disinfestation certificates, not be the entire "Airbnb" apartment building, etc.

However, it is not excluded that the specific proposals will be accepted as an amendment to the draft law or that they will be included before it goes to the Parliament.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Ms. Kefalogiannis intervened in the conference when Mr. Hatzidakis, answering a relevant journalistic question whether he leaves a window for additional changes in the draft law in the regulations for short-term leases, clarified: "None"!

The Finance Minister's arguments

For his part, the Minister of National Economy and Finance argued for short-term leases that "we tried to strike a balance between tourism entrepreneurs and this new business activity. We want both sides" and emphasized that he leaves no window for additional changes. "None" he characteristically said.


Ms. Kefalogianni intervened to formulate the "big objection" as she said. If you consider the activity to be business then "you should control them and tax them like businessmen", he stressed.

The minister called on Mr. Hatzidakis "to establish a framework" so that the long-term lease does not work "in absolute competition with tourism and businessmen, who I repeat are controlled and taxed".

Olga Kefalogianni added regarding the tax bill of Mr. Hatzidakis that her ministry has made "much stricter proposals" and estimated that they can agree with the Minister of Finance in another context, however citing the measures taken against " Airbnb" abroad. "You've seen that too many countries and cities have put in a very strict framework," he said.

Government matter

In response, Mr. Hatzidakis meaningfully reminded that the bill is not a ministry's but the government's and "it has been put into consultation even after the approval of the prime minister's office". It reflects "the will of the government to deal with the issue in a balanced way and for this reason we distinguish the short-term leases of owners with three properties or more and put them in a VAT regime", added Mr. Hatzidakis.

The climate change surcharge

The Minister of Tourism did not fail to take a position on the end of climate change. After thanking Mr. Hatzidakis for accepting her proposal not to increase the fee during the winter months, she announced that it will be remunerative. "We intended to announce it together with the Minister, but I think we should say it here," she said, closing her intervention and of course binding Mr. Hatzidakis, as assessed by third parties, for his reciprocity.