OPINION

A new self-image?

How are we going to eradicate high prices? Apparently, with informative leaflets and via TV screens briefing consumers on prices. A mini-stock exchange for fruit and vegetables! Modernizing measures have resulted in our fresh produce becoming the most expensive in Europe after the Scandinavian countries and the UK. In European capitals, tomatoes are cheaper than they are in Athens. And then we wonder why Greek tourism is on the wane. Why have tourists decided to go to Croatia instead of Rhodes? Perhaps because, the way things are going, we will all be holidaying in Croatia soon. High prices, regardless of all the profound analyses we have been hearing of late, are the result of a political decision – not just by the government, but by the people. It is a matter of self-image. When Greece was a poor country, it was struggling to shake off its reputation for attracting a lower class of tourist. And so it consciously strove to become a destination for the select few. Since then, we have theoretically come of age as a nation; we have reconsidered the benefits of the «new era»; we have gone backward to go forward. But essentially, our goal hasn’t changed: We want the living standards of a Scandinavian country. And we reckoned that high prices would be a necessary sacrifice which would not bother us too much. But we had never had to economize before. And now we are struggling once again with our self-image…