Tourism must be protected

It is impossible to measure the extent of the damage done to Greece’s image abroad by recent events such as the deadly firebombing of a Marfin Egnatia Bank branch in central Athens during the street protests on May 3 in which three employees died of smoke inhalation. In addition to this tragedy, we now have the ongoing blockade of ports by disgruntled seamen and the earlier, irrational blockade of hotels by other protesters who would not allow paying patrons to enter or leave the establishments. Athens and a number of other linked destinations are already beginning to feel the brunt of the port closures, as thousands of tourists have canceled their cruise reservations in fear of these actions and the disruptions they can cause to their travel plans. The impact on tourism, Greece’s biggest industry, should be taken seriously into account by the government the next time it sees a group breaking the law, because the country’s economy simply cannot bear anymore blows.

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