Of Crete And The British Here . . .
Posted 23 April 2007 - 11:38 PM
Posted 24 April 2007 - 01:14 AM
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?
Posted 24 April 2007 - 11:42 AM
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.
Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:13 AM
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.
Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:09 PM
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.
Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:58 PM
However, the kids can't afford them and that, I think, is "το επώδυνο σημείο" (the sore point).
However all these items you mentioned including the ipods and flatscreens are widely available in Crete.
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.
Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:45 PM