Anyone else heading to Greece on holiday this summer? Worried about the economic crisis? Don’t be…if I hadn’t seen the media reports before we left, I wouldn’t know there was a problem. Whilst the political events may have been whipped up into a fury in the papers, day to day life, at least for tourists, remains unchanged – ATMs still work, there’s petrol in the pumps and food on the supermarket shelves.
We were wary before we left and quickly bought cash belts and locks for the suitcases, but, like the dew in the morn, those feelings have long since gone.
Fundamentally, this is a cash based society – which has been part of the problem – that and corrupt politicians. Ultimately, if you have cash or a foreign credit card, you are fine and rather than seeing poverty some Greeks are still very wealthy…which are the ones we’re more likely to see on holiday, particularly in a place like Spetses. I will confess to some Marie Antoinette twinges, an openning gulf between those with and those without – a low slung banana yellow Lamborghini roared past us on a mountain road, there was a wedding on Spetses reportedly costing millions for a single day of celebrations, the beach turned into a dance floor with enough lights to resemble an alien landing. Is it enough for potential civil unrest? Only time will tell. I asked a friend married to a Greek whether there was a growing awareness of this discrepancy, she said no, Greeks didn’t see it as a flaunting of wealth but rather admired it as a show of success, she said I was viewing the situation through envy driven British eyes that like to attack the successful.
Who knows..but it does feel like this country is in the grips of the sovereign equivalent to a Company takeover….where the majority of the employees have been forgotten.
Personally, I would have like the no vote to mean no, for Greece to take Europe by the cojones and leave the Euro and for Germany to be proudly presented with wheel barrowfuls of freshly printed drachma, which would’ve promptly devalued. Yes, it would cause huge problem….but it would leave Greece in control of Greece.
But then I’m seeing this through privileged English eyes….
Laters, Kate x
Gorgeous! I would love to head to Greece! Pity their economy is not flourishing right now.
It’s such a complicated issue…..one of my hats is in the travel industry and I’ve already seen and know casualties from the debacle . One thing Greece does need is for tourists to keep going. Enjoy the rest of your stay! x
My BF and I just recently had a discussion about whether or not to go to Greece, him against it, me for it. Thank you for proving my point! hehehehe
I am so happy you wrote that post because I’ ve many many tourists saying that Greece is a dangerous place to visit and that there is a Civil war… Unfortunately it is not the first nor the last country with economic problems. I can assure you that one thing Greeks are great at is tourism! They are well known for their kindness and hospitality! I believe you experienced that yourself 🙂
So that was a great post and I think that it will help people who want to visit Greece and are frightened to stay calm and enjoy their summer maybe in a Greek island.
Romanians see the Greek problem as shameless. How come a people richer than us dare not to pay the debt? And who do they think they are when they got so much for free? I’m sure the matter is much more complicated than this, but lack of solidarity between the rich islands and the not so rich mainland has to be addressed.
Truly glad you enjoyed your holiday, as you said, nothing changed for the tourists. I can confirm it, since I’m back from a wonderful three weeks on the islands. As for the politics, I’d love to chat about your Marie Antoinette views over a cup of coffee. Soon may be?
I envy you so much right now! Greece sounds gorgeous. Well, another time maybe
I have come back from Greece, I actually come from Greece and I live on the mainland! There is no civil war or social unrest, people are calm, and are the same really as they have always been! I’m not going to express my political and other views on this matter but the islands aren’t richer, they are just more sustainable and with their own problems. There are a lot of people who don’t have enough money to pay their rent or feed their children and as opposed to the simplistic belief that Greeks don’t want to pay, the truth is that they don’t want to pay by being driven to absolute poverty and humiliation! As for the free money, please, if your friend kept asking you to lend them money and you knew they couldn’t pay you back would you keep on lending them? I wouldn’t, unless I was getting something out of it & if you have followed on the news even a bit you won’t fail to see it. You can say what you like about politicians but don’t ever say that the people don’t want to pay especially as they had so much for free. When I left Greece my teacher salary was less than my part time waiting Job in London & that was before the crisis. That aside, if you don’t speak Greek, don’t watch TV and don’t read newspapers you won’t even see the crisis! The only reason I didn’t go to Syria at the beginning of the unrest was because they closed the border 😉 sorry for the long comment.