Greece to foot the bill if affected by strikes or ash chaos
June 22nd, 2010 by elisa

In an attempt to turn around debt-ridden Greece’s fortunes since striking and rioting broke out following deep spending cuts, Greek tourism and culture minister Pavlos Geroulanos said that the country would cover the costs incurred by tourists stranded there either by the strikes or ash cloud.

He told a new conference in Athens : “We are guaranteeing to pay any extra room and board for any visitor in Greece even if stuck here because of a volcano in Iceland.”

The country has been experiencing a major debt crisis and only avoided going bankrupt by using the first installment of an E110 billion EU and IMF bail-out; however, in order to get that money the government has had to make gargantuan cuts which have enraged the capital’s civil service whose pay and pensions have been affected. Strikes at airports, ferry ports and rail stations came shortly afterwards which meant that public transport ground to a halt.

One in five jobs in Greece is connected to tourism and the situation has seriously affected the numbers of visitors coming to Greece. Despite this, Geroulanos told the press conference that tourism was starting to pick up.

“The numbers are not really as gloomy as they were with the first cancellations. Some destinations have suffered greatly due to the crisis, but others are doing better than before.” He said.

I’d be interested to know whether readers of this blog have been affected by the strikes in Greece, if you’ve been put off booking a holiday there this summer, and if the news that Greece will foot the bill if you are affected by strikes or ash cloud will change your mind?

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