The garbage crisis may not only have an impact on public health, but also on the growth of tourism, as the problem with piles of bags on Greek streets has not gone unnoticed abroad.
Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) says that “Greece is the winner of the current tourism season” while pointing to the growing threat the country’s image faces from the garbage problem. In a report published yon Tuesday it stressed that tourism and food service are also victims of the local authority workers’ strike, alongside public hygiene.
“Nobody can sit anymore in front of cafes and tavernas where garbage mountains are growing, and in many spots the picture is disheartening. Garbage is even piling up on the islands. On the political level they discuss whether or not refuse collection ought to be privatized. Some local authorities and certain areas of the capital have already adopted the system successfully and do not face such problems,” the FAZ report read.
In the same context Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura called on Tuesday for the immediate collection of garbage on the streets: “The Tourism Ministry has received a wave of complaints from associations and professionals of the tourism sector in Greece and abroad. They are asking for immediate and drastic interventions to ensure the unhindered progress of the tourism season and avoid a blow to the country’s international image,” she stated.
Before the emergence of the garbage crisis the image projected by Greece was one of a country that was about to reap the biggest gains in the region as far as tourism was concerned.
In its report on Tuesday FAZ also stated that “after a difficult year in 2016, with tourists not only avoiding traveling to Turkey but also rejecting almost all of the offers they were given by tour operators, the two top representatives of the European general tourism, TUI and Thomas Cook, are optimistic again. Greece is the winner of the season, while Egypt has recorded a doubling of bookings.”