OPINION

Country for rent

We have ancient monuments, seas and beaches, mountains, rivers, fair weather, good food, fantastic wines – what are we worried about? We are a tourist-oriented country and that we will remain. Every now and again government committees will draft new promotional measures and various «organizations» will demand that more be done. Meanwhile, anyone who dares to maintain that Greece needs to find some other source of revenue to rely on other than proceeds from the tourism sector is at risk of being branded anti-Greek. Of course, we have ancient monuments – many of them, that’s why we submerge those that hinder our high-speed thoroughfares. We have great beaches too, only they are not actually ours as more and more opportunists are constructing on them illegally in the knowledge that some government will eventually legalize their properties. As a result, a third of our country has been transformed into one big stage, like the ones used in Hollywood as backdrops for Westerns. In summer, the stage comes to life and produces cash. The rest of the year, virtually all activity disappears and the stage remains what it essentially is: pieces of chipboard, cement and plastic around empty swimming pools… This reveals an image of Greece as backward and lethargic, unwilling to strive for anything other than its transformation into a set of rooms for rent – a whole country up for rent.