Greece attracts more than 16 million tourists each year, thus contributing 15?o the nation's Gross Domestic Product Economy. Greece has been an attraction for international visitors since antiquity for its rich and long history, Mediterranean coastline and beaches. In 2005, 6,088,287 tourists alone visited the city of Athens, the capital city.----------- Visitors In 2008, the country welcomed over 16.5 million tourists..According to a survey conducted in China in 2005, Greece was voted as the Chinese people's number one choice as a tourist destination. Furthermore, Greece has been actively trying to secure a large share of Chinese tourists per year, highlighted by the large presence of Greek tourist information offices at the 2006 Beijing International Tourism Expo. Greece had the largest single country participation at the Beijing Tourism Expo with a total exhibition space take-up of more than 1,152 m², more than any other nation. In November 2006, Austria, like China, announced that Greece was the favourite tourist destination for its citizens. In line with these observations, Greece's former Minister of Tourism Aris Spiliotopoulos announced the opening of a GNTO office in Shanghai until 2010. To promote Chinese flow of tourists to Greece, Air China has now established direct flights from China to Greece.----
At the same time, tourism consumption increased considerably since the turn of the millennium, from US$ 17.7 bn. in 2000 to US$ 29.6 bn. in 2004. The numbers of jobs directly or indirectly related to the tourism sector were 659,719 and represented 16.5?f the country's total employment for that year.---------
Tourism infastructure in Greece has been greatly improved since the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and continues to expand with a number of important projects particularly in areas of less mass-tourism. -------- Marinas Greece has 51 marinas and 14,661 mooring places that provide such services as berths, fuel, water and electricity, telephony, and repairs. Some of the most developed and busiest marinas in Greece are just a few kilometres from the centre of Athens. The marinas of Alimos and Flisvos, on the south coast of Athens, have an aggregated capacity of more than 1,800 vessels.
Spas and thermal springs
Greece has 752 thermosprings. Many have been classified as therapeutic by the National Institute for Geographical and Mineral Research.
--------------------- The global financial crisis that began in 2008 had a particularly large effect on Greece. Two of the country's largest industries are tourism and shipping, and both were badly affected by the downturn with revenues falling 15?n 2009.
To keep within the monetary union guidelines, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported the country's official economic statistics. In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees since 2001 for arranging transactions that hid the actual level of borrowing.The purpose of these deals made by several subsequent Greek governments was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.
In 2009, the government of George Papandreou revised its deficit from an estimated 6?or 8?f a special tax for building irregularities were not to be applied) to 12.7?In May 2010, the Greek government deficit was estimated to be 13.6?hich is one of the highest in the world relative to GDP. Greek government debt was estimated at €216 billion in January 2010. Accumulated government debt is forecast, according to some estimates, to hit 120?f GDP in 2010. The Greek government bond market is reliant on foreign investors, with some estimates suggesting that up to 70?f Greek government bonds are held externally. Estimated tax evasion costs the Greek government over $20 billion per year. Despite the crisis, Greek government bond auctions have all been over-subscribed in 2010 (as of 26 January). According to the Financial Times on 25 January 2010, "Investors placed about €20bn ($28bn, £17bn) in orders for the five-year, fixed-rate bond, four times more than the (Greek) government had reckoned on." In March, again according to the Financial Times, "Athens sold €5bn (£4.5bn) in 10-year bonds and received orders for three times that amount . -------- On 5 May 2010, a national strike was held in opposition to the planned spending cuts and tax increases. Protest on that date was widespread and turned violent in Athens, killing three people and injuring dozens .-------------Danger of default
Without a bailout agreement, there was a possibility that Greece would have been forced to default on some of its debt. The premiums on Greek debt had risen to a level that reflected a high chance of a default or restructuring. One analyst gave a 80 to 90?hance of a default or restructuring. Martin Feldstein called a Greek default "inevitable." A default would most likely have taken the form of a restructuring where Greece would pay creditors only a portion of what they were owed, perhaps 50 or 25 percent. This would effectively remove Greece from the euro, as it would no longer have collateral with the European Central Bank.It would also destabilise the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, which is backed by government securities.
Since Greece is on the euro, it cannot print its own currency. This prevents it from inflating away a portion of its obligations or otherwise stimulating its economy with monetary policy. For example, the U.S. Federal Reserve expanded its balance sheet by over $1.3 trillion since the global financial crisis began, essentially printing new money and injecting it into the system by purchasing outstanding debt.
The overall effect of Greece being forced off the euro, would itself have been small for the other European economies. Greece represents only 2?f the eurozone economy. The more severe danger is that a default by Greece will cause investors to lose faith in other Eurozone countries. This concern is focused on Portugal and Ireland, all of whom have high debt and deficit issues. Italy also has a high debt, but its budget position is better than the European average, and it is not considered amongst the countries most at risk. Recent rumours raised by speculators about a Spanish bail-out were dismissed by Spanish President Mr. Zapatero as "complete insanity" and "intolerable". Spain has a comparatively low debt amongst advanced economies, at only 53?f GDP in 2010, more than 20 points less than Germany, France or the US, and more than 60 points less than Italy, Ireland or Greece, and it doesn't face a risk of default. Spain and Italy are far larger and more central economies than Greece, both countries have most of their debt controlled internally, and are in a better fiscal situation than Greece and Portugal, making a default unlikely unless the situation gets far more severe