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  • Stephan Busch

Why is the German taxpayer now saving AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises with billions?

While millions are unemployed because of Corona, many have to live on social support - 50% percent of the international crew of cruise companies get absolutely nothing, the German state is now giving away the money to cruise companies that have made millions in profits in recent years without paying taxes in Germany. While 19% VAT is normal in restaurants in Germany, TUI, for example, has a tax rate of 1.1% (Source: Panorama - see below source).

But the taxpayer has to rescue?

Without mercy, small and medium-sized companies in the catering, hotel and event industries are going bankrupt, but the corporations that do not pass the money on to the employees - but continue firing them - are receiving billions as a gifts? Why not let them file for bankruptcy? The market will fix it, won't it?

Here are a few headlines and texts - current and the last few years, where you have to ask yourself if it should not be the crew, the taxpayers, the unemployed that should receive this money and not corporations that fire thousands of employees after receiving these gigantic sums.

TUI in September 2020

"Tui secures further government aid worth billions”

(9. September 2020, 18:55 Uhr Quelle: ZEIT ONLINE)

“With this TUI secured state aid totaling three billion euros. A loan of 1.8 billion euros granted by KfW in April is now to be increased by 1.05 billion euros. In addition, 150 million euros are to go to Tui via a convertible bond signed by the Federal Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF). "

(September 9, 2020, 6:55 p.m. Source: ZEIT ONLINE)

“The Tui Group had announced that it would cut up to 8,000 jobs, mainly abroad. In addition, the fleet of your airline TUIfly is to be reduced by more than half - according to reports, 900 full-time positions could be eliminated and several locations could be closed. "

(September 9, 2020, 6:55 p.m. Source: ZEIT ONLINE)

Do you have to reward this financially? At the taxpayer's expense?

Aida in November 2020

"Aida asks for state aid"

“The cruise company Aida has applied for state aid. As the NDR reports, citing an insider, a corresponding application has been made to the Economic Stabilization Fund. It is about aid amounting to 400 million euros. The state would guarantee for the sum ”(This is the taxpayer)

Almost as a mockery, it is also confirmed that the shipyard industry will be razed to the ground

"Will not order any new ships in the next two to three years," he said. "This will certainly lead to dramatic failures at shipyards and suppliers," said the Costa boss. "WIRTSCHAFT Woche


Not a single one of these cruise ships pays taxes in Germany.

In addition, driving under a cheap flag saves on safety, hygiene and wages.

“At the stern of the ships there are flags of all colors, just not black, red and gold. “There are quite a few flags that many ships sail under, even though their owners are in other countries. However, these flags of convenience allow poorer working conditions or have more slack standards. This saves the shipowners costs, ”explains Maya Schwiegershausen-Güth, who deals with the issue for Verdi union.

The ships of Aida, decorated with the big red kissable mouth, prefer to sail under the Italian flag, like many other ships of the parent company Carnival. The flag of Malta flies at the stern of the Tui Cruises “Mein Schiff” fleet. And the noble cruisers from Hapag-Lloyd, also a subsidiary of Tui, sail under the flag of the Bahamas. "Today there is not a single cruise ship flying the German flag in Germany"

Tui Cruises, number two on the German market, achieved sales of 843.7 million euros in 2016 - and a profit of 195.1 million euros. However, Tui only had to pay taxes of 240,589 euros from this profit.

That makes a tax rate on profit of 1.1 percent.

Market leader Carnival, the parent company of Aida, recently paid no taxes at all, according to the annual report - the group received a repayment. Just like number three in the industry, MSC. They could write off their investments in new ships.

(von Jacqueline Goebel Wirtschaftswoche


And here are a few articles and headlines that make it seem questionable how such decisions are possible in such times.

Miami's Cruise Industry Gave $23,500 to Senator Who Stopped New Cruise Tax


Carnival and Royal Caribbean Receive UK Coronavirus Aid After Cruise lines failed in the U.S.”

Rosie Spinks, Skift Jul 16, 2020

Carnival and RCL Cruises Ltd. (both UK entities of the global companies) received millions of pounds of state assistance as part of a program known as the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, according to Bank of England documents, and first flagged by UK-based investigative think tank TaxWatch.

Carnival has received £25 million ($31.3 million), while Royal Caribbean received £300 million ($375 million).

“It’s incredible that the UK is bailing out companies that are using tax havens, with minimal strings attached,” Alex Dunnagan, a researcher at TaxWatch, said. “We have £300m going to a company ultimately owned by a Liberian corporation, and a further £25m going to a company dual-listed in Panama.”

Rosie Spinks, Skift Jul 16, 2020

‘They aren’t American’ — Democrats aim to block aid to struggling cruise companies

Bailout opponents cite loophole allowing industry to avoid U.S. taxes, regulations


By Jessica Wehrman

Posted March 12, 2020)

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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