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Holidays in Greece - the Price of Paradise

I used to enjoy holidays in Greece up until a few years ago. It is a beautiful country, the islands are magnificent, the weather fantastic, the sea warm, the people friendly and the food/wine Ďwasí cheap and of good quality. You might say I pretty much love the Greek Islands. In recent years however it has become too expensive for me and my family to go, everything from flights, accommodation and eating out, to car hire, umbrellas and sun beds. It used to be real value for money, a bit of paradise on earth.

Greece on the whole is still basically a poor, agricultural economy, not a modern industrialised nation. Tourism is the main revenue earner with many people working in the industry but I suspect, like me, many other families can now no longer afford to go there on holiday and choose cheaper destinations nearer to home which means less revenue for Greece. I believe this is mainly due to Greece being in the Euro which has forced up expectations, prices and wages as it forced up prices and wages across the rest of the Eurozone.

Thereís a lot to be said for not having a single currency as Greece, Portugal, Spain and even Italy clearly indicate. It leaves these countries with little room to manoeuvre economically when things start to get tough. If Greece wanted to devalue its currency to make it cheaper for tourists to visit, it canít do it; it is stuck with the level set by the Central European Bank which does not suit a rural economy in hard times.

The Germans believe the Greeks fiddled their figures to get into the Euro, which one could believe, as you donít need to be an economic genius to see there is very little convergence between the German and Greek economies. How can two economies that are so vastly different like the Germans and the Greeks, one an industrial powerhouse and one based on agriculture, have the same currency and expect to sit at the same table?

Germany, France and the other stronger EU nations will now have to pay in wheelbarrows of Euros for the weaker nations and they will find it is a bottomless pit and that the debts will never be repaid, even Britain will have to foot some of this bill. The Greeks are not a lazy nation as the Germans suggests, I have always found them to be exceedingly hard working, they have just been conned into going along with the single currency by the bureaucrats in Brussels.

Germany and France are now paying the price for the madcap dash to get economic and political union in Europe, forcing countries to sign up to Treaties, instead of going at a measured pace. The European Economic Union has to work, but those in the European parliament will have to do some hard work on the model and earn their huge salaries for a change, instead of spending their time voting themselves extra expenses and then voting not to tell us what they spend their expenses on.

Greece as a nation has been around a long time, it is the oldest democracy, its people are industrious and clever and they will get through this crisis. I just hope Greece gets out of the Euro along with Portugal and Spain and they get back to having control over their own money and therefore their economies. (Bring back the Drachma!) I then may be able to afford to go again.



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