Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A View at Thessaloniki's Harbor Makes Economists Superfluous...

One of our balconies looks directly at the Thessaloniki Harbor, albeit it in quite some distance across the bay. This does not look like a small harbor at all. There are plenty of large cranes and all that.

My wife has exactly zero interest in economics (she thinks there are more important things in life...). I have tried to change that since the crisis by pointing at the Thessaloniki Harbor where there were hardly any freighters to be seen. I would explain that this was an indicator of the crisis. The day when Thessaloniki Bay would be full of freighters unloading products for the entire Balkan and picking up Greek products for export, the crisis would be over. Then Thessaloniki could become something like a 'HongKong for the Balkan pensinsula'. Still, I have not been able to catch my wife's interest so far...

We have now been back to Greece for about one month and I note that, almost every day, there are a few freigthers in the Thessaloniki Bay, including a few very large ones full of containers. On average, I would say that there are about 4 freighters parked all the time (and there is turnover!).

And today I read this article in the Ekathimerini where it says that one of the world's largest cruise ships docked in Thessaloniki unloading 3.800 tourists to visit the city.

But the real good stuff is this: large cruisers had stopped calling on Thessaloniki 5 years ago. 3.500 tourists had refused to disembark because of the huge bureaucracy employed by the local port authorities at the time. If cruise ships are now returning and if 3.800 tourists are disembarking, that can only mean that someone has taken a lesson and has also taken measures to improve.

If that's not a positive sign, then I don't know what is!

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