Give Greece a Chance

Lately I have received several emails from friends and guests asking me about our economic woes here in Greece. Has it has affected me and how and whether it will affect them should they come. One of the main points of contention is: what currency should they bring with them and is it OK to bring their credit card? There have been widespread negative rumours/news that Greece will leave the Euro and go back to the Drachma and this has naturally made many would be tourists have doubts about coming to Greece this summer.

More Greeks want the Euro than the Drachma!

My country has fallen victim to all sorts of negative press. When I was in New York this past winter I was amazed to hear on the news that the New York Stock Exchange fell because something happened in Greece. I should be honoured by this fact but I think that is somewhat unrealistic to me that a country of Greece’s size and economic power would have any effect on the world economic market. Of course, some would say that World War I was started with the assassination of a no-body crown prince in Serbia.

OK then, let’s look at what is really bothering these massive institutions in America and in Europe – mainly Greece’s departure from the Euro. Mind you none of our politicians nor the people of Greece wants this. Most political parties have voiced their commitment to the Euro. While polls show that the Greek people are one of the strongest supporters for the common currency in Europe. Personally I like the Euro as it brought stability to the prices even though initially we had inflation. I no longer have to see my savings devalue every year, nor do I have to redo my menu every year to do new prices, the latter not being of any importance in the scheme of things.

Another matter of contention is our indecisiveness to elect a government – but can you blame us as our choices are adequate at best?  We need great leadership to get through this crisis but I see none, nor do I see any great leadership from the other countries. If anything I think they have made the situation worse! And yet these gloom and doom scenarios still persist in the world news on a daily basis.

The next election, on Sunday the 17th of June, is a democratic process which will have an outcome regardless of the time it will take for us to choose a government. I also think by not electing a government during the June the 6th election the Greek people have sent a message to those concerned basically saying: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Unemployment now exceeds 20%. That is more than 1 million active citizens.

The bad publicity that my country has had to endure these last 3 years have only made matters worse for us as it means that less people are likely to come out on holiday. Tourism employs nearly a million people and most of these have small businesses such as mine and in similar communities, such as Agios Stefanos Beach. The tourist sector roughly contributes one-fifth of the Greek GDP and Greece’s recovery will depend greatly on our hospitality industry to come out of this crisis.

Being an observant person by nature and to answer my original questions, I have to ask another question: who will profit by tourists not bringing their foreign currencies to Greece? The only answer I come up with is: their home banks. Greece’s local banks have always given a better exchange rate than the foreign home banks. The reason for this is quite obvious:  the local Greek banks want your trade and your foreign exchange so they are willing to give you a deal!

Greece, the true story!

As for what people visiting Greece will find when they come out here is this: There will be none of the gloom that is painted abroad but the same friendly faces that practice filoxenia (literally, “love of strangers”). They will see the same tranquil, picturesque and warmly welcoming communities they have always seen! For despite this hardship we may face, Greece will always welcome its visitors with open arms — today, more than ever!

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14 thoughts on “Give Greece a Chance

  1. Thanks for the reassurance in your blog. We have no worries about returning to Agios Stefanos. This is our second ‘home’. Love to Theodora, George and the rest of the ‘Crew’. Will be there soon.

  2. Having just come back from another wonderful, unforgettable and charming holiday at the Nafsika, I can honestly say that everything is exactly the same. The only difference is that there are few new members of staff, who were totally charming and attentive as is the norm at The Nafsika.
    You must be pretty fed up with the situation (to put it mildly) as we are too here in Spain (where I live) and we too are in the same boat as you, being the “S” in the word “PIGS” (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) designed and given great publicity by some “Qualification Agency” in another part of world, to destabilize these countries in Europe and completely mess up their economies. What do they know about us? Sitting at their desks the other side of the Globe? Weren’t they the ones that gave Lehman Brother good ratings and then looked what happened after that! Who are behind these people who want to ruin our economies? Who is benefiting from all this? A few years ago nobody had heard of them and in effect most countries weren’t even rated. IT IS ALL VERY FISHY. (Enough ranting for the moment).

    I just hope all you guys out there continue your holiday plans as though NOTHING has happened and support Greece the way you would want your own country to be supported in the same situation. LONG LIVE GREECE!!!!

  3. I’m so pleased that you had another great holiday and the staff were up to their usual charming selves. I have not heard that expression – PIGS. Not very fitting but I’m sure that is how some of them think of us!
    Thank you for your support…. 🙂

  4. I know you will have the support of the contingent from Cornwall and Devon, Speros. I think plans are already afoot for the 50th Birthday celebrations for Jules’ sister. Look forward to our 25th year looking over the golden beach

  5. Never worried us, can’t wait to be there in August.
    More scare stories in our press this week about tourists being refused cheap health care, being kicked out of hospitals whilst on holiday in Greece and having to spend thousands of euros when they get bit by the mosquitoes!! The Spainish tourest board are better at propaganda than the Greeks, the Spanish can’t do hospitality and great holidays so they have to play dirty !!

    • Glad to see there are people out there that can see thru the political and media driven ‘propaganda’ but it will be a long time before people think of Greece in terms other than it’s debt and only think of its beauty and its warmly hospitable people! 🙂

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