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Mayor Kaminis on CNN: Tourism in Athens will ‘Take Off’ if Situation in Greece Returns to Normalcy

The Acropolis of Athens and the Parhenon

The Parthenon in Athens. Photo © Shutterstock

The current tourism season in Athens is one of the best the Greek capital has seen, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis told CNN’s Hala Gorani on Tuesday during an interview for the “World Right Now” show.

Kaminis_CNN_1However, the mayor added that tourism in Athens will really ‘take off’, if the situation in the country returns to normalcy.

Greece recently agreed to implement a series of tough reforms — that include tax hikes and pension reforms — in return for a three-year multi-billion euro bailout (which will be finalized if Greek parliament votes in favor of the deal on Wednesday night).

Referring to the bailout deal, the mayor said that Greece needs to use it as a fresh start. “Of course it’s not a good deal for the country”, the mayor said, adding that the government agreed to it as it was the only alternative to a “Grexit”.

The mayor of Athens stressed that the government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must now undertake very important reforms that were not implemented over the last five years by previous governments. “That is the reason why we had all those cut downs in pensions and salaries… Why? Because they (previous governments) didn’t undertake the necessary reforms… So this is a new opportunity and maybe the last.”

When asked to comment on the government’s decision to hold a referendum on July 5, on whether Greece should accept or reject the demands of the country’s creditors, Mayor Kaminis said it was a “total disaster” as the “no” vote was interpreted by the lenders as a “no” to the Eurozone and to the European perspective of the country.

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