“We love Greece, We help Greece” – If we, as Greek Americans don’t do it, who will?
During these difficult times, “Greek News” launches a two month campaign to promote Greek Tourism:
By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Publisher/Editor of Greek News
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 homeland reached its lowest point; or as we say, it 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 and above all of its creditors might turn out to be a water drop in the ocean, if the country will not follow a course of sustainable development that will secure jobs for the Greek people and income for the state.
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. It’s only remaining strong industry is tourism (20% of the GDP and almost 30% of its labor force). However, 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 imminent threat of bankruptcy and in the aftermath of the deaths of 3 bank employees as a result of a terrorist attack by masked-men during a worker’s demonstration was the drop that spilled the glass. In just a few days 27,000 cancellations from foreign travelers 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, its children that live beyond its borders, 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 in order to have quick results is to simply visit Greece this summer. And we should do it, not only because Greece is beautiful, magical, it refreshes us and rests our minds but because now more than ever Greece needs us.
-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?
-If a foreign aggressor attacked Greece, how many of us wouldn’t rush to fight by its side. The same is now, only the aggressors are economic speculators.
-Just think what the Jewish Diaspora would do in such an instance. It would visit Israel against all odds. We, on the other hand, not only don’t go somewhere raged by war, but 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 the richest of civilizations, culture and history of humankind.
In these difficult times, we should not be defeatists. We should not dwell on what the Government of Greece will do but what we, ourselves, can do for the land of our ancestors.
Many of us may have reasonable complaints and past bitter experiences. Despite this however, now is the time of duty and responsibility.
Only the fact that this campaign begins –without any government funding or encouragement- by “Greek News” a paper that, in its 7 years lifespan, has never received anything from GNTO means something; that it is we, the common Greek people who will save Greece, we who have an unconditional love for Greece and not those hungry for money opportunists .
That’s why we appeal to all of you, the Hellenes of America, to all philhellene Americans, to all the Greeks of Diaspora:
Let’s travel to Greece this summer
Be part of the effort to save Greece