The real Greek myth

No matter how many advertising campaigns the government launches to restore tourism to the economic significance it had two or three decades ago… the effort will likely be in vain unless we stop peddling fantasies to prospective visitors about them «finding their myth» in Greece and start facing the truth. And the truth is that what will leave a lasting impression on most tourists are not our ancient heroes but our extremely high prices. The only maze they are likely to get lost in is one of wiles and petty deceptions, with nothing living up to expectations: spiked drinks, salads doused with imported sunflower oil and vegetables which are no longer stuffed with anything substantial. As much as foreigners may love our country – and even if they have their hearts set on visiting the birthplace of democracy – at some point they will stop excusing our transgressions because of our ancient heritage. And because a large proportion of our visitors come from countries where the euro is also the official currency, it is difficult to fool them – they are fully aware of how expensive Greece has become. The irony is that the introduction of the euro was accompanied by promises – of a prospective boost to the Greek economy, for example – which have failed to materialize. Instead, we have widespread profiteering and widespread public nostalgia for the drachma…

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