What China could bring to Greece - Daily Monitor

What China could bring to Greece

Sunday February 3 2019


By Nafha Maani Ebrahimi

One of the best Greek beaches that I have been to is called Tsambika beach, on the island of Rhodes. It has temperate water with white sand, and breath-taking views of a nearby mountain that has a small chapel on its top. This Monastery is named after Saint Virgin of Tsambika, who is known to perform miracles for women who have difficulty in conceiving, it is said that many who prayed in this chapel, did have children.

When I was having a chat with a close friend who lives in Rhodes, she mentioned that a couple of years ago, this amazing beach was almost sold to Chinese investors. I felt like a bucket of hot water had just been poured on my head. It is not a hidden fact that Greece is going through tough economic times, but to pay such a high price of selling its land to the new real estate masters of the world, is indeed sad.

Fortunately, the deal has not yet gone through, and I pray that it does not see the light of the day. Knowing how the operation will go, first a barrier will be set to make it a paying beach, the local staff and restaurants run by Greek owners will be replaced with Chinese ones, and a multitude of Chinese kiosks selling their products will appear.

I believe there are alternatives, where there is will, there is always a way. I often wonder why instead of such drastic measures, the tourism industry in Greece is not becoming as strong as Turkey that is a ferry ride away. What the Turkish government is currently doing to attract tourists is truly admirable. In Turkey, every effort is made to welcome visitors with open arms, keeping prices moderate is key to welcoming all types of tourists to a country that is investing in every asset it has including its culinary specialties and great shopping.

I do not know if you have been to Turkey, or even passed in transit through its airports, surely it looks like a million passengers from all nationalities are crossing paths and, rubbing shoulders. Although the queues are long and officers unfriendly, once you step out of the airport, things start to tremendously improve. I like to travel to a country run by its local population, you really cannot have the Greek Moussaka with soy Sauce!