The nation’s warm climate may become a haven for tourists amid an energy crunch, tourism minister told media
Greece will be delighted to welcome elderly Germans tourists and give them shelter from the upcoming winter, inflation and energy crisis, Vasilis Kikilias, the nation’s Minister for Tourism, offered on Thursday.
“In autumn and winter, we, Greeks, would be delighted to welcome German pensioners who want to experience a ‘Mediterranean winter,’ with Greek hospitality, mild weather and high-quality services,” he told Germany’s Bild tabloid. “We will be waiting for you here.”
His comments were echoed by Panagiotis Simandirakis, the mayor of Chania on the Greek island of Crete. “We invite every single German who wants to come to us this winter and stay here – away from the crises,” he said, touting local hospitality and what he said was the best year-round climate in Europe.
“We have no need for in-house heating,“ Simandirakis reminded.
On Wednesday, Romania’s Deputy Prime Minister Hunor Kelemen warned that the EU could experience the toughest winter in decades due to the sanctions it had imposed on Russia. “It will be a harsh winter, perhaps the harshest one in the last 40-50-60 years,” he said.
Bild reported on Sunday that skyrocketing heating costs might see many Germans unable to pay their bills. The tabloid also warned that Germany might experience not just another price hike this winter but face an acute energy supply shortage if Russia stops its gas supplies.
These concerns have become more urgent after Russian gas major Gazprom suspended the operations of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for annual maintenance, which is set to be complete in late July. In the middle of June, gas flow through the route was slashed to 40% of capacity due to a serviced turbine that wasn’t returned on time from Canada because of sanctions slapped on Russia.