Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Chinese Are Coming « Kommos Conservancy

A study of the prehistory of Kommos and the history of Crete informs us that there has always been foreign influences impacting the island’s development. A critical concern for the Kommos Conservancy lies in the answer to the question: What is to happen to the Mesara? With a debt burden beyond the control of Greece – will agriculture, recreational and heritage tourism adequately serve the economic future of this region of the country?

We learned from an article in Ekathemerini on 24 February that Greece has committed to evacuating 15,000 Chinese from Libya, which is south of Kommos across the sea. This is another sign of the intergovernmental cooperation that is so pronounced at Greece’s primary shipping hub at Piraeus, where the Chinese have already been given control of 2 of the 3 container terminals, with the intention of their investing $300 million to upgrade the facilities over their new 35 year contract?

Controversial investment by the Chinese at Tymbaki west of Phaistos and north along the shore of its ancient port may conflict with recreational, ecological and heritage tourism goals. This impact combined with the relocation of the airport from Heraklion to Kastelli and possible passenger shipping port relocations from Heraklion to ports several kilometers east and west of Heraklion, could out distance tour operators from the rich cultural heritage of the Mesara’s Minoan triangle.

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