Greek tourism minister invites German pensioners who fear huge heating bills to spend the winter in Greece The Guardian.
With German gas bills already doubling and expected to be seven times higher than last year, Vassilis Kikilias says Greece offers warmth, hospitality and lower food and restaurant prices.
“We would be delighted to welcome German retirees who want to experience the Mediterranean winter with Greek hospitality, mild weather and high levels of service,” Kikilias told Bild, Germany’s best-selling tabloid. “We are waiting for you,” the minister added.
He explained his gesture by saying that he wanted to thank the German taxpayers who helped the Greeks during the 2008 financial crisis.
Mayors across Greece have joined the initiative. Panagiotis Simandirakis, the mayor of the city of Chania in Crete, says the island certainly offers the best conditions – just two months of fairly mild winters compared to Germany – to allow people to “survive the crisis that can come with the cold.” He added that in Crete the cost of everything from rent to a cup of coffee is only a fraction of what it is in Germany.
The proposal was gladly accepted by the German pensioners. “This is a useful offer, especially if it costs less than staying at home,” said Petra Schneider, a pensioner from Cologne.
The association of German travel agents VUSR suggested back in May that it could be cheaper for the government to subsidize vacations in warmer places in the long run, at around 500 euros per person, to help households save on gas bills.
Opposition politicians said the idea should be treated with caution as it could have a negative impact on the German economy.
Yes, in Greece the winter is milder and much shorter than in Germany, but the heating season, nevertheless, is almost 5 months, and the prices for electricity and heating are, as it were, no higher than in Germany. And those who live in Greece know perfectly well how much they need to pay for heating, otherwise they cannot survive in a damp climate in winter. However, this can not be said to German tourists …
Divorce at the state level … Except how to admire the genius of the Minister of Tourism, there is nothing more to say.