ECOCLUB.com Team Blog
blogging about ecological & socially just tourism & living
hot greek summer ahead?
Hot summer ahead, and not just speaking about climate change...some days it seems that the world is spinning out of control. While the Mediterranean peoples are revolting in violent and non-violent ways, rightly demanding real democracy (although somewhat ironically on Facebook), the great powers-empires are extinguishing and imprisoning real and perceived foes from dissident Nobel laureates, to environmental activists, to IMF heads, and doing everything, as always, they can so that popular movements are manipulated and/ore discredited. Over here in post-Athens-what-a-waste-Olympics-2004-Greece, geographically and culturally situated somewhere between the 1st world and the rest world, we may be experiencing early signs of Germany in 1920 (rapidly rising unemployment, bankruptcy in slow motion, rise of the far right which exploits the ever growing tide of refugees from Asia and Africa, but also a vibrant art scene - as misery & art always go together) while our post-modern socialdemocratic government, wearing a neoliberal straitjacket and following IMF recipes which have devastated many countries, instead of focusing on creating real, green jobs, is cutting hard-won worker-rights and pensions and desperately seekinf foreign buyers for anything of value, including holiday home and golf developers for public coastal and island land. Tourism is supposedly our 'heavy industry', or so are we constantly told by short-lived clueless tourism ministers and their tourism backers, thus two long-awaited tourism investment laws will attempt, probably unsuccessfully unless the selling price is too low, to smooth the edges and portray Greece as the perfect banana republic / 'IMF' hotel chambermaid for mega-resorts, golf in semi-arid locations, and real estate. If all this was not enough, all our neighbouring countries (probably thinking that 'Fukushima' is a type of mushroom - well it is, in a way) - are currently constructing (with the aid of eager kn0w-how 'but-otherwise-non-proliferation' sellers) 2-3 nuclear power stations each, some right next to earthquake faults (sign related petition), so that they may sell their electricity to us, to power our summer mass tourism and air-conditioners on the same islands where semi-illegal rubbish dumps are collapsing into the blue sea. Tourism can provide solutions, but only if it is the right sort, low-key, alternative, community-owned. This time last year, Greek humorist blogger Pitsirikos actually advised potential visitors to Greece to choose a staycation, in his own hyperbolic style, adding a "Don't" in front of the national, and not very original, national tourism slogan "Visit Greece". Humour is good, but becoming rare, as an increasing number of young people are choosing mystical-conspiracy, violent and hysterical theories and means to comprehend and tackle the situation, while what is really needed are rational, green, non-violent, solidarity, communalist, self-organisation and mutual-aid policies, to try to turn this crisis, an international financial-capitalist and local capitalist-statist crisis, into an opportunity for all...against the odds.