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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 83

Tales from Crete | 83

I think the vast majority of us who love Greece and just can't get enough of the Greek culture, the Greek mentality, the hospitality, the food, the climate and yes, you can go on like this, all go in excited anticipation of the annual trip to Crete, one of the other beautiful islands or to the mainland, will come to fruition at all this year. Corona put an abrupt end to all of this, and although the whole Corona situation obviously takes up a lot, there are many of us who just want to go down soon and have some sun and warmth at our favorite resort.

The whole of Greece will be opened to tourists this year, but it will not be without restrictions, but that is not the question at all. The question is rather whether there are flights and the ticket prices will be worth paying, because the travel industry and the airlines have suffered losses of astronomical magnitude to that extent and no one knows to what extent this will affect prices in the future. In Denmark, there has recently been a lot of talk about the aid package for the travel industry, which is not really an aid package at all, but rather a loan that, like other loans, must be repaid. The media has been and still is full of measures and statistics about Corona and that is of course very understandable. But it is also something that will undoubtedly affect both the Danish and international economy going forward. Large reputable companies have to lay off people en masse, many companies are on the edge of bankruptcy and are only saved at the eleventh hour by the governments of the respective countries, aid packages or smart financiers who see a chance to score the big profit by striking now and buy out the distressed companies.

On Crete as well as on all other Greek islands, the vast majority of hotels, restaurants and other businesses are not limited liability companies or private limited companies as you know them from Denmark, but rather personally owned family businesses. So when things go wrong for one of them, things go wrong for the whole family, because the entire private economy is typically tied to the company's finances. On the other hand, it is in the Greek genes that you are hungry for sustenance and, moreover, stretch much further than most others are prepared for. Some perceive this as Greek stubbornness, and there may well be something to that. I wonder if many of you yourself have experienced in Greek that there are one or two people in a small shop without a very large selection of goods and apparently without customers most of the day. When there is finally a customer, perhaps like you, there is no limit to the helpfulness, gratitude and a huge smile, even if you maybe only buy an ice cream for one and a half Euros? - It is they and many others of the same kind who are really fighting for survival. They have no safety net, unemployment insurance, support or aid packages. They have to fend for themselves as best they can now.

However, my experience tells me that it is precisely those who are going to do best. They are the ones who do not accept alms, but stubbornly fight for the business and the life's work that they have put on stage.

Maybe it was something to think about when you come back to your Greek holiday paradise. This year, the hotel owner and restaurateur must expect to have only half a season and thus only half the income, but you can expect to receive at least the same extensive service as you are used to.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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