Saturday, 24 September 2011

Some thoughts on Greece.

Since I've come from a short holiday at one of my favourite destinations, the island of Kos, all I've heard on the news is of the financial crisis, the Euro and Greece defaulting on its debt. There were plenty of indications on the ground, one might say that Greece is most cetainly in a deep recession.

For starters prices in Kos were lower now in 2011 than when I was last there in 2006, with half litre of Mythos Greek lager selling at 2 to 3 Euros in local tavernas and 4.5 in the more expensive hotels. A great many tavernas had closed down with the locals putting the blame firmly on the shoulders of the international hotel companies for offering all inclusive deals rather than half board or B&B. In the tavernas and hotels there were far fewer staff than had been before indicating that the private sector had most certainly tightened up with fewer staff working much harder.

One promising aspect of the tourism economy in Greece is that their prices are now cheaper than those in Bodrum, Turkey, which would indicate that tourists may once again come flooding back to Greece from Turkey and Egypt.

It is however difficult to envisage how Greece will succeed in paying its debt when it seems that the main pastime of so many business owners on Kos was tax avoidance and evasion, with ever more inventive ways of paying for goods and services i.e. bill for drinks the bill for food made up as they went along and both bills paid separately.

Having tasted Turkey and Egypt, neither do it for me, I can't wait to get back to Greece, recession or no recession.

NB - For those of you who haven't been Kos Airport it is something to behold! disorganised chaos is an understatement


lynnehayes said...

In my opinion, it was the Euro that destroyed tourism in Greece. We went for holidays there years ago when Greece still had the Drachma and it was so cheap compared to the UK, families could be seen eating and drinking everywhere and shops and bars did a roaring trade. I had never heard of an ‘all inclusive’ hotel then, we all either went self catering or B@ B
We returned to Greece after the Euro had been introduced and boy had things changed! It was much more expensive than the UK and we were worried that our funds would last out the holiday. We didn’t visit Greece again and I can well understand that, particularly for families, the only way they could afford a holiday in Greece is to stay at an All Inclusive hotel.
Like you, we have visited Turkey because of the lower costs, for us, it was nice although not as beautiful as Greece, but we had to go where we could afford to go.
It’s amazing that costs are lower now that Greece is in dire straits. I really hope that the Greek debt gets written off and that Greece gives the Euro the boot, not many countries seem to have benefited from it, particularly the poorer ones.

Anonymous said...

The Euro is madness, especially for countries like Greece. Too many people in Wales think "oh the English don't like it, it must be a good thing." Meanwhile Ireland has lost it's independence (de facto) and been thrown into penury to save the French and German banks.