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