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Of Crete And The British Here . . .


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#21 Ton

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 11:38 PM

John I do not understand why you are so much obsessed with Industrial sites in Crete. Small industrial sites like the one north of Heraklion I understand but why heavy industrial sites. What's wrong with Hospitals, schools, electricity production sites, garbage disposal places, water treatment plants etc and c. where young people can get a job? Do we really need to bring General Motors in Crete or Sheffield industrial steal? or maybe better create some Refinaries and Container ports? Crete like many other islands in the Aegean is becoming more and more a service island for the tourist industry. It is a fact. Europeans are moving to Crete and other Greek islands as holiday makers or as retirees. The young people of Crete are very lucky to inherit valuable land and are looking forward to sell some of the land to tourists and invest the money to a business or use the money to study at a University. They are not interested in working in a factory. Greeks worked in factories after the 2ndWW in Germany and other industrial nations but as soon as they made some money they either returned back to Greece or stayed there and opened a restaurant. In regards to the life style of UK and America for sure this is not what the young people of Crete are looking for!! Iam wandering if anyone in Europe who has been either in America or UK would like to have the same life style as in these two countries!! Nobody even an 8 year old in Greece is that naive to believe what he or she sees on TV is the real reflection of the life style of that country. Maybe you can tell us what you meant about the life style of UK and US.

#22 Retired in Crete

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 01:14 AM

Ton

You misunderstand what I have said. With the possible exception of the container port, I have never advocated "heavy" industry for Crete. Perhaps I should have explained more clearly.

Let me start my explanation with a question. Do you realise how difficult it is in Crete to buy a holiday souvenir or a present that is made in Crete or even made in Greece? With the exception of lace & embroidery from Kritsa and Cretan pottery most goods are imported, many from China. Souvenir dolls in Greek costume are sold in many shops but again they are made in China! Why are they not made in Crete?
This type of "industry" could be carried out in small family run units of similar size to the potteries. Many of the imported goods in the shops could be made here in a similar way. I would agree that "Crete like many other islands in the Aegean is becoming more and more a service island for the tourist industry." I am simply saying that more of the wider "tourist industry" should be made in Crete.

You say that Greeks worked in factories and then returned to Crete to open restaurants. A Greek friend of ours has sold his restaurant in Ag Nik to become a bus driver! He says he will have an income for 52 weeks of the year, no worries and a secure future.

"The young people of Crete are very lucky to inherit valuable land and are looking forward to sell some of the land to tourists". The tourists will build more holiday homes on this land. Will the Cretans not be happy untill the whole of Crete is covered in concrete?

The younger generation are leaving Crete to find work on the mainland. In my nearest village, one of the oldest in Crete, some 30% of the houses are empty. As the elderly die the houses are left empty, there are no younger folk to take their place. A house 200 meters from mine has been empty for several years. The owner is working in Athens.

My comment that "They know of the lifestyles of America and Britain and they, not surprisingly, want a piece of it!" was perhaps a bad choice of words. "They see the material possesions" would be a better way of putting it. This is evident from their love of mobile phones, ipods, flat screen TV's, and the latest fashions.

You have made no comment on my suggestion that Crete should be "zoned". Can I assume that you agree with this?

John
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#23 Ton

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 11:42 AM

Yes John I agree about your suggestion that Crete should be 'zoned' It's a very good idea. The Government will say that Crete has already been zoned in residential, agricultural, archeological,forestry,sea shore, and industrial zones. However the problem is that except the Ecological society and some individuals in Crete no one (including the government) takes care that the zones are respected.
On small industrial businesses in Crete I also agree with you. I still have problem though with you on the container port. I would rather see a touristic investment like the building of a marina which will attract small boats and help the fishermen (like the marina's in Majorka) rather than container's which will pollute the waters of South Crete.

Ok for the lifestyle now I understand what you meant. However all these items you mentioned including the ipods and flatscreens are widely available in Crete.

#24 Ray

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:13 AM

I have been looking at my post of three years ago and you know what, I wouldn't change a word.

Looking back I have seen the various changes/disasters in the house developers. I have seen so many British dreamers return to the UK. I have spoken to so many British immigrants that I am sick of the words 'I hate it here".

Why do they hate it? For precisely why I said they would: the lack of Englishness here, the lack of fish and chips, burgers whatever. The lack of this and that. Who can say. They come here expecting England in the sun. They have no idea of Greek/Cretan history or culture and they complain, over and over again.

Actually, lately, some shops/supermarkets are offering British goods, but it does not matter - they want Indian and British food, UK plumbing and God knows what else.

Yes there are a few, a very few, who love this island, know it for what it is and respect it's history or whatever. I reach out to them.

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#25 Gelis

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:09 PM

Ray, has it never crossed your mind that the people who moan about life here in Crete are the sort who will moan wherever they are? People who are happy here are, by & large, just getting on with their lives. We all have things which annoy us but, in all situations, people with complaints are the most vocal - how many post on airline sites, for instance, about their positive experiences??

We're happy here - you'd have to pay us to go back to the UK - but there are things that irritate, of course. Being pragmatic people, we look out of the window at the wonderful view and remember why we came here - the irritations disappear or take on a far lower level of importance. Let's face it - life in the UK is pretty awful these days for many people, and we should count ourselves lucky to be out of it.

#26 Gefira

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:58 PM

However all these items you mentioned including the ipods and flatscreens are widely available in Crete.

However, the kids can't afford them and that, I think, is "το επώδυνο σημείο" (the sore point).
What is required is industry/business that will bring money to the island - and not only via the pockets of tourists. We desperately need more exports. Crete is pretty well self-sufficient in food and water (if it were distributed efficiently). It's possible that part of the export could be "virtual goods" such as web design and financial services (although I hesitate to suggest this, given what it has done to the UK!)

However, Crete isn't generally short of sunshine and wind so, with enough investment, we could build plants to generate electricity, which can be exported. These would provide jobs. If they used equipment that was assembled on the island, that would create even more jobs.

There's also an export market for Carob butter, Walnuts (including walnut shells used to make special dyes), almonds, beeswax, olive oil, avocado oil and fruit juice concentrates. At present we aren't tapping it.

In contrast, the market for olives, apples, pears, oranges and other perishables simply isn't there because the transport costs are too high and we are competing against countries where labour is cheaper. So we have to concentrate on "added value" finished products.

Oh, and I do share most of Ray's sentiments. Most (I mean more than 50%) British people are either too lazy or incapable of learning Greek and integrating effectively. The very fact that they call Almerida "Little England" speaks volumes.

#27 Laid Back Lil

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:45 PM

I've got to admit I partly agree - I personally haven't had the time to learn Greek in the three years we' ve had a house - but I AM TRYING!!! I'm not in Crete full time and work back in Blightey etc. I have bought many phrase books and cds and downloaded them on the phone and it's taken me nearly a year just to be able to order food, drink, say my name, ask another's name etc - very hard language to learn. A lot of the locals really appreciate my efforts at speaking Greek (now on Volume 2 of the CD - another year learning probably),. ~We have a local minimarket and five old Greek ladies sit out on broken chairs outside (typically post card picture)... only one of them speaks broken English, and we always always take the time to sit and speak with them and learn a few words at each chat with them. They love us and we love them. I for one don't want MacDonalds, Fish & Chips, Burgers etc - I detest it when my meal is served with chips!!! I always ask for potatoes preferably cooked lemon and olive oil. I bought in Crete because I love the culture, I love the food and I love the laid-back attitude to life and I love the ugly looking oranges that taste so sweet rather than the rubbish i buy in the supermarkets here. I love the fact that most of the tavernas grow their own veg and have their own meat - that's what its all about for me. I might crave a curry sometimes - but I wouldn't want an Indian restaurant on my doorstep - I'll make a curry if I want want And so, all the English aren't the same - there are some of us out there that embrace the whole thing.