SPAIN’S Prime Minister warned that the Russian invasion in Ukraine would impact Spain’s economy and cause an increase in energy bills while the Tourism Minister  insisted the impact on Spanish tourism industry would likely be small.

“It is very likely that energy prices remain high and volatile in the future, directly impacting the consumer price index and the purchasing power and wellbeing of our compatriots,” Pedro Sanchez said addressing parliament on Thursday.

“The result will be an economic slowdown in our country and in Europe, and less investment at a key moment for Europe as we consolidate the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

He has announced an extension of a series of tax breaks, including discounts on electricity bills among the most vulnerable, until June 30.

However, Sanchez explained that the energy impact in Spain will be “more limited” than in other countries, since imports from Russia account for only 4.6 percent of oil and 8 percent of gas.

In terms of how visitor numbers might be affected by sanctions on Russia, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto Tourism said on Friday that the impact would likely be small.

“The volume of Russian tourists was already very small because of the pandemic,” Minister Reyes Maroto said on local TV station TVE.

She said that her ministry would instead concentrate on the US market with a summer advertising campaign to make up the shortfall.

Last year’s tourism figures show that of the 31million visitors to Spain only 134,242 were Russian.


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