As Greece is going through a tough time now, we have been contacted by Norwegian radio and TV to share our view. Have a look at what to expect as a tourist in Crete summer 2015.
The following article is from the interview with TV Haugaland has been translated to English. if you wish to read it in Norwegian, click here. To hear another interview (in Norwegian) with Radio 102, click here.
Eline Staalesen is from Haugesund in Norway and works as an assisting manager at a restaurant in Crete. Even though the Greeks are worried, she says that the tourists on the summer island have no reason to be afraid.
GREECE: Eline Staalesen from Haugesund moved to the island of Crete in 2008 and have lived there ever since. She works as an assisting manager at Valentino Pasta & Grill and with PR and guest relations at the hotel, Oscar Suites & Village on the border of Agia Marina and Platanias, at the north-western coast of Crete. Both the summer paradise and Eline are now in the middle of the economical crisis.
– The days go by as usual. Everybody is talking about the economical crisis, but people are enjoying the beach and the sun, and they are having a good time. The holidays are not threatened by the crisis, she says.
– The Greeks are worried, and no one knows what is going to happen. Some believe that Greece should leave the European Union in order to start over again with blank sheets, while most people I know, fear the major consequences of not continuing as a member of the European Union.
The sun is shining in Greece, and Platanias in Crete is full of Norwegian, Swedish and other Scandinavian tourists, all hungry for sun and summer. She has been here almost 7 years now. At first, she thought she had found love, but she soon realized that she wanted to stay in Greece because of her love for the beautiful Greek island and the people there.
– Everything is okay here. The ATMs are filled every day and many customers pay their bills with card. People are happy and smiling and enjoying the beautiful summer in Greece. No one should be worried about coming here. Greece and Crete need the tourism and will always make sure that the tourists will have return home after their vacation with good memories from Greece, she says.
Yesterday night was the first time she ever experienced having issues with charging a guest’s card in the restaurant.
– We paid the bill for them. They can repay us some other time, she says and adds how important the tourism is to the Cretan people.
There are thousands of job opportunities and positions here during the summer season. Without tourism, the village here would be nothing else that an area of agriculture with farm animals, olive trees and fruit trees.
Staalesen says she was surprised by the proportion of the black economy when she first moved. – When I first started working in Greece, I noticed that large bills were never accompanied with receipts. When I asked why, the Greeks replied: Why should we pay taxes when the Government doesn’t spend the money on what is important, as on schools and healthcare, Staalesen says.
– It has been a bad circle for years, and all we can do now is to pay the consequences, she says.