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Ryanair wanted to offer free flights around Greece, but was turned down

The airline has launched a campaign to encourage tourism and travel in the embattled country.

Image: paulpiltdown via Flickr/Creative Commons

RYANAIR HAS VOICED confidence in Greece, slashing fares on domestic routes and offering discounts on international flights while committing to remain in the country.

“Greek consumers and visitors can rest assured that Ryanair remains committed to growing in Greece,” the airline’s chief commercial officer David O’Brien said.

“We will continue to stimulate travel and tourism in Greece by working with our partners in the Greek airports and Greek government at this time of economic crisis.”

Ryanair planned to cut its Greek domestic fares to €0 for the next two weeks if the authorities involved agreed to drop development and airport fees, but this was refused.

The airline has instead settled for flights for €5 under its Keep Greece Flying campaign, with a 30% discount on international routes to and from Greece.

Eurozone finance ministers meeting today are set to give their verdict on Greece’s last-chance bid for another bailout to keep its economy afloat and prevent its exit from the single currency.

Progress

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she hoped for “a lot of progress” after the Greek parliament backed leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s new reform plan, aiming at a rescue worth more than €80 billion.

But austerity-minded Germany holds the keys to the outcome, and a EU leader and two other sources gave no more than a 50-50 chance that a make-or-break European summit tomorrow would approve a deal.

Hardliners Berlin and the Baltic states are exasperated with Greece’s radical Syriza government, blaming it for more than five months of bitter negotiations in which trust has been the biggest casualty.

Additional reporting © AFP, 2015

Read: Eurozone ministers are making a ‘major’ decision today >

More: ‘Greece should drop the euro – and so should Ireland’ >

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Nicky Ryan

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