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Australians And The Greeks

  • July 7th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

archeol-stavros-p-_1.jpgThe well-rod pathway from Australia to all corners of the Hellenic republic has been getting a little less wear-and-tear.

Rachel Riley checks on some Australians in Greece.

Prospective Australian tourists, in their droves, have been questioning whether it is safe, or sound, to visit Greece at this time of trouble in  a recessed economy.

Amid the depressed social conditions, aggression against foreigners, and crimes like pickpocketing have been on the rise, and receive regular attention in reports from police and other official sources.

On the other hand, local residents attest that the trouble with security can be badly over-stated.

“As somebody who has one leg in each country … I definitely encourage Australians to come, not just to support the Greek economy, says Dr Stavros Paspalas (picture), a Greek-Australian archeologist and long-term resident.

He has been following the impacts of the economic crisis and says Greek-Australian relations have not been undermined, despite the tough times.

On 4.4.12, the Australian Ambassador to Greece, Jenny Bloomfield, called on the new Greek Minister for Tourism, Olga Kefalogianni, to help strengthen relations in the tourism sector.

“Tourism is a key sector of the Australia-Greece relationship, with over 100,000 Australians visiting Greece every year,” Mrs Bloomfield said.

“In addition … there is constant movement between the Greek-Australian communities from one country to the other for tourism and other purposes … and both countries stand to benefit from closer cooperation.

“Australian companies have had successes recently in Greece’s tourism sector including in tourism services, infrastructure, transport and business tourism, and there are important opportunities as a result of planned privatisation of ports, marinas, airports and resorts in Greece,” she said.

The new government in Greece, elected in June, says it is having a drive to further develop the tourist industry.

In the tough economic times, several Australian Greeks who were part of a re-migration movement in the 1980s and 1990s, back to the “old country”, have been re-visiting Australia with jobs in mind – but only a small number of Greek citizens have applied to set out as original migrants.