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[Nettime-nl] Alex Andreou: Wil je Griekenland helpen: ga dan naar Grieke
Patrice Riemens on Wed, 8 Jul 2015 09:50:34 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] Alex Andreou: Wil je Griekenland helpen: ga dan naar Griekenland met vakantie

Ja sorry tiz in 't Engels, ik ga niet alles vertalen ;-)

link (met nog meer help Griekenland suggesties):


Want to help Greece? Go there on holiday!

Showing solidarity through tourism is a win-win situation: you get a cheap
holiday in a beautiful country; Greece gets a much-needed injection of

by Alex Andreou, July 7, 2015.

Covering the Greek crisis for the past few months, the question I am asked
most commonly is: ?Why won?t Greece just stop whining and pay its debts??
It is quite depressing to realise there are so many people out there who
think there is a mattress somewhere in Greece stuffed with a trillion
euros, which we are refusing to hand over simply out of radical leftism.
The second most commonly asked question, however, cheers me up
significantly: ?Is there any way we can help??

There is: visit Greece. The weather is just as stunning as it ever was
this time of year; the archaeological sites just as interesting; the
beaches just as magical; the food just as heart-healthy. The prices are
significantly cheaper than usual. It is one of those rare everybody-wins

The people are even more welcoming, more hospitable and more grateful than
ever. The reaction to difficulty has been a broader smile, a wider
embrace. We understand that you have a choice and we understand why you
have chosen Greece right now. Tourism is liquidity. Tourism is solidarity.

If you are thinking of helping my country in this way, there are ways to
do so perfectly safely and to maximise the benefit. It is important to say
that there has been no violence, at all, anywhere. And whenever there has
been any trouble in the past, it has always confined itself in a very
small and easily avoidable area, in the very centre of Athens. If you are
feeling even a little nervous about it, plenty of airlines fly directly to
dozens of resorts and stunning, out-of-the-way destinations.

A British friend, Kris, who just came back from Athens, says: ?It would be
very easy not to know that anything was even going on ? There were some
queues at ATMs, but no more than in the centre of London during a busy
weekend. There is no rationing or shortages. The only exception was the
night of the rival rallies, for Yes and Oxi; I was absolutely amazed that
they were held less than half a mile apart and there was no trouble
whatsoever. From our hotel terrace, it was like listening to democracy in
stereo ? I would go back in a heartbeat.?

Take euros with you, in cash, to cover your stay?s expenses (and possibly
a backup of sterling). This way, you inject paper money directly into our
economy. Hard currency is what is lacking. Keep most of it in your room
safe or the hotel safe. It is sensible to split the remainder among you.
Travel insurance companies have recognised that this will be the case, and
most have increased the total amount of cash for which you are covered.

The best thing to do is book flights (ideally with one of the Greek
airlines ? there is a 40%-off sale right now on aegeanair.com) and hotels
separately. If your best option is a package deal, then that is great too.
The local Greek economy will still benefit when banks reopen. But the most
direct way to help, in terms of injecting liquidity, is to book your
accommodation directly and pay with cash once there. Prices are reported
to be significantly cheaper than they usually are this time of year. Your
cards will work normally everywhere, but cash is better, as people have
difficulty accessing money in their account.

Try to spread the solidarity around: instead of going for very popular
destinations, check the smaller islands to which you can fly, or mainland
destinations in the Peloponnese, Macedonia and Thessaly. Stunning beaches
(and much quieter ones) are never too far away, and some of the sites you
can visit are breathtaking. Olympia, the ancient theatre of Epidavros,
Delphi, Vergina, Meteora (which you might remember from the climactic
scene in For Your Eyes Only), Tempe, Mount Olympus ? there are so many.
You can find a good guide at greeka.com.

Most importantly, spend your money with small local businesses whenever
possible, rather than large multinationals (although even that helps ?
they still employ Greeks). Your tourism is a form of resistance. You will
have the time of your life while helping a nation brought to its knees by
international monetary interests.

Greek people and businesses are suffering because of restrictions on
international transfers. People who have children studying abroad may have
problems sending them money. Greeks who have gone abroad to work may not
be able to send money back home. Businesses may not be able to pay for
their internet hosting packages if they are based outside Greece.
Academics are losing access to scientific journals.

Reach out to any family, friends or business contacts you might have in
Greece, or connected to Greece. You may be able to help them in a small
but vital way. You might be able to share your access to an academic
journal or pay a small stipend for someone?s internet hosting as a deposit
for a future holiday. People who need to send money to Greece for any
reason can form reciprocal networks through social media with people in
Greece who need to send money abroad.

Together we can get over this bump in the road. Together we can prove that
solidarity and democracy may have fizzled out as institutional concepts,
but they are stronger than ever within people?s hearts. I thank you in
advance. My country thanks you.

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