No cafes, no tourists: Coronavirus empties streets of old Athens


It’s been some time since guests to Greece sought out souvenirs in Athens’ oldest neighbourhood. The winding streets of Plaka, laid out lengthy earlier than the town imported a grid system, are lined with closed shops behind aluminum shutters. The coronavirus pandemic has stored vacationers away from the historic metropolis heart that kinds a semi-circle across the Acropolis, and the realm remained unusually devoid of pedestrians and motorists earlier than Christmas.

In their absence, historic monuments are slightly simpler to make out from a distance, fewer horns are sounding in site visitors and homeless cats parked in entrance of cafes are rather less aloof.

Greece to this point has imposed two nationwide lockdowns for the reason that begin of the pandemic. The first, within the spring, stored the nation’s an infection charges low. Authorities ordered the second in response to a fast post-summer rise in reported circumstances and as of Christmas Eve has seen 4,4,57 confirmed virus-related deaths.

The restrictions have closed bars, eating places, espresso outlets and lots of different companies thought of non-essential however which make up a big slice of Greece’s tourism-dependent economic system.

The quantity of guests touring to the nation plummeted 76.1 per cent in the course of the first 10 months of 2020 in comparison with a yr earlier. Spending sank 77 per cent, in accordance with central financial institution knowledge launched this week.

Greece is anticipated to see a 10.5 per cent contraction of its gross home product this yr in comparison with the forecasted EU common of 7.Four per cent, whereas its debt-to-GDP ratio is about to surge to a staggering 208.9 per cent.

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Only the headline has been modified. )

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