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19 replies

elizadolittlechoc · 04/09/2015 10:00

The refugee crisis is appalling, but other people are also suffering as an indirect consequence of simply living en route. I unexpectedly visited one of the 'lesser affected' Aegean islands last week. The effect of the crisis and the accompanying media attention has wiped out the tourist economy in the region, adding misery to the ordinary Greeks trying to deal with their own economic crisis. Whilst I can't think of anything more distasteful than sitting on a beach, knowing of the terrible happenings, should whole islands be shunned? After all holidaymakers visit many other countries in the world with appalling human rights records or abject poverty.

OP posts:

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 04/09/2015 10:05

I agree but with the main holiday season over there won't be many people planning holidays right now.


hypnoticrabbit · 04/09/2015 10:47

Why do you have to "shout"? Why not just write an email to the government or give money to aid agencies that are supporting the refugees? And who are you telling to support the Greek Islands, the Government (of the UK), the European Union, Brussels?


elizadolittlechoc · 04/09/2015 11:14

I guess I'm really aiming this at holiday makers. Yes, I would agree it's the end of the season and yes I support refugee status and more people being taken into the UK. I am not talking about the larger complex political problems.My point is that I was shocked how the millions of northern european holiday makers have simply stopped going. The great majority of resorts and coastal villages are not affected by refugees, the economic disaster of Greece has no direct impact on tourists, other than everywhere is very quiet. A lot of people are going to lose their livelihoods.

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RealityCheque · 04/09/2015 11:22

Are you seriously suggesting folk should spend their savings booking a holiday to a greek island that has been affected by boats of refugees arriving? Or even risk having their expensive family holiday disrupted by a boat load of refugees arriving on the beach (or much, much worse).

I'd be surprised if you can even get insurance by next year if things continue.

Just wow.


TiredButFineODFOJ · 04/09/2015 11:23

I am going to Kos on holiday. The problems were less reported when it was booked. I weighed up the possible panic of the Greek economy, having to carry cash on you etc but decided that my tourism would boost the economy.
Since the refugee crisis has developed I have asked the airline to allow me to take an extra 10kg charity bag on board, and have been collecting for the local charity on Kos.
This charity has a gofundme page and was initially set up to provide baby items, food and school essentials for the poor of Kos. They are now helping the locals and the refugees, since yesterday they have been inundated with messages.
I will enjoy my break to Kos and will certainly be spending some time also donating and hopefully helping this registered charity run only by volunteers.
However I doubt I will be lying on a beach or taking boat trips to nearby places.


BarbarianMum · 04/09/2015 11:30

I think the reason less northern Europeans have been choosing Greece this year has less to do with the migrant crisis (although this may affect next years bookings) and more to do with the financial crisis and the talk of Greece dropping out of the Euro earlier in the year.


BarbarianMum · 04/09/2015 11:32

Oh, and a lot of Germans have gone elsewhere due to the vitriol against them.


ThenLaterWhenItGotDark · 04/09/2015 11:58

Have you ben 'shouting' for Lampedusa as well? Hmm Frankly, having seen the footage of how the Greek police are treating the refugees I'd see the fuckers in hell before they had any of my sympathy.


ExploraDora · 04/09/2015 12:48

Honestly, as much as I have sympathy for Greek tourism workers, the idea of choosing to put myself and my children in the position of potentially witnessing those poor desperate people dragging themselves ashore or washing up drowned is crazy.


GarthAlgar · 04/09/2015 13:46

That's a lovely thing to do Tired.


WomanScorned · 04/09/2015 13:53

Yep, the economy needs as much bolstering as it can get.


WomanScorned · 04/09/2015 13:55

Are you in touch with Kos Kindness, Tired?


Werksallhourz · 04/09/2015 16:04

Are you sure people haven't booked for Greece because of the financial crisis earlier this year? At one point, just prior to the tourist season, it looked as though Greece was going into complete economic meltdown and tourists were encouraged to only take cash into the country. There were also fears that ATMs may stop working.


TiredButFineODFOJ · 04/09/2015 17:27

womanscorned yes I am, they are totally overwhelmed by sudden uk support and enquiries.
They are happy for people in the uk to fill up a box and post it to them. 10-20kgs costs £26 by parcelforce.
Thye have no uk drop off points, so are relying on gofundme donations, or us posting stuff to them at present.
Anyone who can send a parcel can find their address on the fb page as well as wish list and gofundme info


Pepperpot99 · 04/09/2015 17:39

OP your post is a perfect illustration of the way refugee crises impact on the entire world. Therefore it is our duty to help.

I understand the points you make but when people are faced with the choice of either being barrel bombed by Assad or butchered by IS, they can't do anything else can they?

The displacement of millions of Syrians will have repercussions for decades. Syria is fucked. The world has to face this.


LouiseBrooks · 04/09/2015 17:51

As someone who has already been to Greece once this year and is going again next week - I usually go twice a year - I've never read so much rubbish about Greece as I have this year and it really annoys me as the the Greek people need our support.

I was there at the height of the financial crisis Werkz and was reading the UK paper on my kindle. Apparently the whole country was in meltdown, tourists couldn't get money out of ATMS and if you could, there was a massive queue to do so. Total and utter rubbish, as anyone who has been there this year will tell you. There were a few problems in Athens, that's all and locals had a limit as to what they could draw out. Tourists could - and still can - draw their normal limit. As for cash, it's always been a cash economy and I always pay in cash for most things anyway while I'm there.

With regard to refugees, there is an issue but it doesn't affect tourists much. I know people in Lesvos and other Eastern Aegean islands and yes the authorities are struggling, not just in Kos but that is where most Brits go in that part of the country so it gets the most press. However, the only issue for tourists is the unpleasantness of seeing people who no longer have a home and the realisation of how lucky we are to be born in the West. They don't bother tourists at all.

Tired good for you. I had already made my holiday arrangements for the year, otherwise I would be going either to Lesvos or Samos and would be doing what I could to help. I plan to go to that part of Greece again next year. Go to Kos and you will have a great holiday. Keep away from the area around the port and police station in Kos Town and you won't even know there are any refugees on the island.

And no, there is no general vitriol against Germans either.

I'm sorry if this is a rant but honestly the rubbish talked about Greece in the last 3/4 months by people who've never even set foot there really gets on my nerves.


elizadolittlechoc · 04/09/2015 18:32

Agree with you Louise. You have explained what I meant really clearly. The reality is very different from that portrayed in the media. The Germans I met were treated as hospitably as I was. I think simply that the Greeks have had a very hard time this year. The Greek Police pictures were shocking but they have been very stretched and are not trained to deal with such situations. These are sleepy islands, usually the only problems are related to tourists. They were amazingly supportive, offering water, shelter and transport for people on their onward journeys where I was.

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BarbarianMum · 04/09/2015 21:21

There may be no general vitriol against Germans amongst ordinary Greeks but there has been plenty by politicians in the press. If you were German, would you want to risk it? Certainly put my cousins off and they have previously holidayed there regularly.


specialsubject · 04/09/2015 22:18

as a minor aside, if you aren't tied to school holidays September is a beautiful time to be in Greece. As is June.

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