German holidaymakers received a summer consolation prize on Friday (31 July) when the European Commission approved a government scheme aimed at helping travel operators guarantee replacement vouchers for cancelled trips.
The European Commission announced on Thursday (2 July) that it would launch an infringement procedure against ten EU member states that are in breach of the bloc’s passenger rights rules. Greece and Italy were hit with legal action twice.
The European Commission will later on Wednesday (13 May) publish a common rulebook for voluntary travel vouchers, which advises that state aid could be used to set up guarantee funds, according to documents seen by EURACTIV.
A group of EU member states has urged the European Commission to allow the use of vouchers in distributing aid to the most deprived, arguing they help save costs and uphold the dignity of the people concerned.
The growing trend of distributing vouchers to employees to avoid taxes has raised eyebrows in the Greek government, which has moved to crack down on unprecedented levels of tax evasion in the cash-strapped country.
In light of recent misuse cases reported in Italy, an EU official told EURACTIV.com that vouchers, if properly used, could result in moving more people into the labour market and tackle undeclared work.