Greece tells Germans to "come here for winter" to escape rising costs

Greece tells Germans to "come here for winter" to escape rising costs

Greece’s Tourism Minister has issued an invitation to German pensioners wanting to escape high inflation and the growing energy crisis to spend the winter in sunny southern Europe. 

German pensioners invited to wait out crisis in Greece

With gas prices expected to triple in Germany in the coming months and the cost of groceries rising virtually unstopped, the Tourism Minister has touted Greece as an attractive alternative, promising good weather, welcoming hospitality, and cheap food and drink.

“In the autumn and winter it would bring us great joy to welcome German pensioners who wish to experience a Mediterranean winter, with Greek hospitality, mild weather and a high level of service,” Vasilis Kikilias told Bild. “We will be waiting for you.”

A similar invitation came from the mayor of the port city of Chania on the Greek island of Crete, Panagiotis Simandirakis, who said that the island was a great place to “survive the crisis winter," with only two months of mild winter, and lower costs for practically everything from housing to coffee and bread. 

Cheaper for government to fund holidays than help with bills?

The gesture - described by Kikilias as an offer of “asylum” and a thank you to the German taxpayers who helped to bail out Greece during the financial crisis of 2008 - may be a barely-veiled marketing ploy aimed at giving the Greek tourism industry a boost, but it’s being taken seriously in some quarters.

The Association of German Travel Agents (VUSR) suggested last May that it might be cheaper for the German government to subsidise holidays to warmer places than step in to help people pay for their gas and electricity bills. Critics, however, have said that the move would hurt the German economy. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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