Sunday, June 25, 2017

Island Issues

Greece: Tourism minister says islands are not for sale

In Greece, enticing, turquoise, clear waters surrounding precious and stunning islands offer tourists from around the globe unforgettable holidays, whether on the busy built-up party islands or the more quiet, less developed and perhaps more exclusive destinations in the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas.

Atokos

Atokos

Unfortunately, Greece is often in the headlines these days, not because it is a most beautiful part of the world that everyone should visit at least once, but because of its continuing financial crisis.

Some German papers have reported that all-inclusive holidays to Greece are cheaper than they were last year. However, tourists are not booking their vacations on the gorgeous islands with the aim of helping the failed economy. Lower prices are attracting more visitors and the ongoing unrest in neighbouring countries, like Egypt or Tunisia, has also had a positive impact on Greek tourism in 2011.

A number of articles were published, following the huge financial bailout negotiated earlier this year between Greece, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, in which German politicians suggested that Greece should go as far as to sell some of its islands, art works and historical buildings in an attempt to decrease its debt. This is not such an outrageous proposal, given that Greece has around 6000 islands, of which around 230 are inhabited.

 Antikeri Islands

Antikeri Islands

However, in an interview in the Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday, Greece’s tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos said that suggesting the country should sell islands as part of a programme to sell off EUR50 billion of state assets is “a dumb idea.” He explained that instead of selling their country they wanted to develop it. Whilst he agreed that some private islands in Greece are for sale, he emphasized  that the state would not put one single island up for sale.

Filed by: APrice

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