NEWS

Migrants backbone of tourism

Almost 40 percent of staff in hotels, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs on the larger islands are staffed by immigrants from Eastern Europe, officials say, adding that Greeks or other Europeans are usually employed in management positions in the tourism industry. On the island of Myconos, 30 percent of the permanent population are economic immigrants working in tourism, construction and farming, usually doing unskilled work, Mayor Christos Veronis said. On Crete, according to the president of the Ierapetra Association of Tourism Businesses, Giorgos Sariklakis, Germans, French and Italians were managing a large number of hotels. «Hotels rented to Western European nationals are staffed by people of the same nationality. Only if a lower position is available is it given to a Greek,» he said. Although most hoteliers on Crete seek specialized staff, they usually settle for unskilled workers as the pay is low and the work seasonal. «About 95 percent of staff have never attended a course in tourism services,» he said.