This summer we travel to Greece
This is a difficult time for our beloved Greece.
After decades of wrong development, mismanagement, non-transparency, non-implementation of the law, indifference by those in government and by the general public, our other homeland has hit rock-bottom.
The 110 billion euro bail-out package by the IMF, the Eurogroup partners and the ECB for the next 18 months aiming at avoiding the default of Greece, might turn out to be a drop in the ocean if the country does not follow a course of sustainable economic development.
Unfortunately, in the 30 years of being a member of the EU, Greece has stopped producing. It has lost the biggest part of its industrial production and its rural sector has transformed into an arid land.
Its only remaining strong industry is tourism which accounts for 20 percent of the GDP and almost 30 percent of its labour force. Tourism is fully dependent upon the international economic conditions and often on internal social events.
The negative publicity Greece received during the last months due to the threat of bankruptcy and in the aftermath of the deaths of three bank employees as a result of the arson attack by masked anarchists, during a workers' demonstration was the drop that caused the flood.
In just a few days 27,000 cancellations from foreign travellers took place and there are fears for more.
We do believe that the Greek Government and the Greek people will do the obvious to help Greece get out of the impasse.
But we too, the 7 million of the Greek Diaspora must rise up to the circumstances and help Greece to stand on its feet again.
What we can do immediately is to visit Greece this summer. And we should do it, because Greece is beautiful and magical. It refreshes us and because Greece needs us.
As American Greeks we did it in 1985-86, when the Reagan Administration issued the unjust travel advisory and we managed to change the negative climate for Greek tourism- Why not do the same now?
We, must go to the country of our forefathers where beauty and peace, the sun and the sea reign; to live for a few weeks close to our roots. To be close to one of the richest civilizations and cultures in human history.
In these difficult times, we should not be defeatists.
We should not dwell on what the Government of Greece will do, but what we can do for the land of our ancestors.
Many of us may have reasonable complaints and some bitter experiences from travel in Greece. Despite this, now is the time of duty.'
That's why we appeal to all the Greeks of Diaspora:
Let's travel to Greece this summer. Enjoy Greece. Be part of the effort to save Greece.
Apostolos Zoupaniotis is the Publisher/Editor of the Greek-American publication Greek News.
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