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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 

We Are Not Amused

The Brits haven't found this one...yet.

Orgies on the islands of Zakynthos and Corfu. A shopowner beaten up in Plaka. A youth killed with a beer bottle in Rhodes. These incidents are not the results of an organized crime syndicate preying on innocent people. They were acts committed by vacationing Brits. They are also not limited to Greece. In July, a barman in Bulgaria was nearly killed by a brick thrown at him which fractured his skull. A British football fan is currently on trial for attempted murder. The country which used to be globally famous for proper etiquette and gentlemanly behaviour is now notorious for hooliganism and loutish behaviour.

I grew up in the port city of Halifax which played host to NATO ships from around the world every year. Only the British seemed to have a problem with being banned from nightclubs by the second night of their stay for drunkenness and aggressive behaviour.

Having witnessed all this first-hand in both Canada and now in Greece, I'd have to say that the primary reason for their absolute boorish behaviour has to be alcohol. They drink it like water and once they start drinking, they don't seem to know when to stop. As a result, like most inebriated people, they lose all sense of civility and propriety.

A secondary cause, at least for the vacationing Brits, are the tour operators themselves. They frequently advertise Greece and other destinations to youth as low-cost places to let your inhibitions go with impunity. Consequently, Brits arrive fully believing that whatever they do in another country will have no repurcussions for themselves. Unfortunately, the aftermath of their behaviour is not just a bad hangover. Too many other tourists and locals who have the misfortune of being around them are suffering the consequences as well. I think it's high time Britain initiates an awareness campaign to combat and discourage the excessive consumption of alcohol in its population before they find vacation destinations completely forbidden to them. The onus should not be on the countries which receive the tourists to prevent such acts but on Britain in order to change its current reprobate reputation.

Seawitch,

The links to athensnews don't work for me (however the three BBC links do work).

Just as a side comment, I wonder how long the tourism infrastructure can handle the lowlifes of Europe before they completely destroy Greece for anyone to visit.

I wish Greece would crack down on this sort of thing so that Greece would be a much more family friendly vacation destination. I believe that this will ensure that Greece will have a vibrant tourism industry for the long term. I fear that the current situation is likely not sustainable.

I remember visiting family and vacationing in Greece in the 80's while my grandparents were alive. It certainly is not the same today.

Kosta

Ah yes, I remember the Brits well from living on Kos. It was like an eternal frat party. I watched the E! channel's "Wild On Greece" the other night and had I seen that before I moved to Greece, I don't think I would have come. I had plenty of that lifestyle around me at Vanderbilt.

The Kos police were constantly dealing with young drunk Brits over the summers. I hate to say it, but could American youths afford to vacation here in such droves, the result would be the same. Simply disgusting.

Ball...I know that I won't ever visit Zakynthos again because of all the drunken Brits there. My husband, who is Greek, couldn't even find a Greek magazine to read...that's how much they'd taken over the island. So I know there are plenty of other tourists who feel the same about other islands as well. The tourism industry definitely is suffering on some islands because of the overabundance of drunk Brits.

Melusina...that's exactly like what it is...an eternal frat party and thank you (hah!) Tara Reid for encouraging more beer-binging louts like herself to invade this beautiful country.

And one more thing...the Athens News links should work now Ball. Thanks for pointing them out to me. :-)

Seawitch,

I am so very disappointed to hear about the situation in Zakynthos as that was the most beautiful island I had ever visited. Around 1980, we stayed at a hotel that had just opened on Lagana Bay. I can still remember how long it took to walk out in the water until my feet would not touch the ground and how incredibly warm it was.

There were hardly any hotels back then. The few hotels (no discos) did not create enough light pollution to overpower the moonlight, leaving the sea turtles to head out to sea instead of inland. Unfortunately, today, these turtles are drawn inland by the disco/hotel lights, ultimately dying.

Thanks for fixing the links.

Kosta

What shocks me more than this kind of behavior is the reaction by the average Brit back home in the UK who actually thinks that this is simply a case of the Greek authorities over-reacting to a 'little mischief'.

I had to ask them whether this kind of behaviour is 'normal' in the UK. I mean I don't know, is it perfectly alright to organize oral sex competitions in the middle of the day on a public beach? No? So why does the British media attack the authorities in Corfu when it cracked down on exactly the same thing?

As SeaWitch has said, there are many islands which we wont go and visit for these reasons. The kind of islands where the only signs you see are 'HAPPY HOUR ALL DAY' or 'ALL DAY ENGLISH BREAKFAST 3€' (for those people who wouldn't dream of eating that 'foreign rubbish').

Alcohol is the key factor in what changes usually mild mannered people into animals. I always watch with interest whenever there's problems when England play football overseas. It's always interesting to read when people have been arrested and charged because they name them and state their profession back in the UK. The one which surprised me most was a bank manager!!

It's not just overseas though where the British alcohol is prevelant. I watched a program on BBC World which captured the work of the police in British towns on Friday and Saturday nights. Dealing with drunks both of the agressive kind and also the ones who just seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to pass out in the street in a pool of their own vomit (nice huh!) and if anyone complains, just say to them "Hey, I'm having a good time".

But the main point that needs to be driven home to these people is if you come to Greece (or Bulgaria, or anywhere for that matter) and break the law. You are eligable to be punished to the full extent of the law. Your not immune to prosecution. An good example of this is the guy in Bulgaria, now no-one denies that a brick was thrown from a balcony into a group of people but there's now a guy in jail in Bulgaria who says it wasn't him. Now because of his denial, the British media got behind him and started printing petitions in the newspapers for his release. The reason why they wanted him released? Because his 'friend' was willing to sign a document (after leaving Bulgaria and refusing to go back there) saying he was the culprit. The media have even gone as far as holding vigils for his release. This was done despite the victim (the barman who was almost KILLED) catagorically stating that the guy in custody was the attacker as he clearly remembers his face.

It's not only the government who need to take action to deal with this problem. The British media need to abhore this kind of behavior and support the actions taken by foreign courts against British nationals who break their laws.

And for more proof of bad British behaviour...read this story...it's hilarious. I can't stop laughing.

QUEEN BEE


Brits driving Austrians bonkers over rude village name
Sun Aug 28, 6:35 AM ET

LONDON, (AFP) - British tourists have left the residents of one charming Austrian village effing and blinding by constantly stealing the signs for their oddly-named village.

While British visitors are finding it hilarious, the residents of F---ing are failing to see the funny side, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

Only one kind of crimimal ever stalks the sleepy 32-house village near Salzburg on the German border -- cheeky British tourists armed with a sense of humour and a screwdriver.

But the local authorities are hitting back and with the signs now set in concrete, police chief Kommandant Schmidtberger is on the lookout.

"We will not stand for the F---ing signs being removed," the officer told the broadsheet.

"It may be very amusing for you British, but F---ing is simply F---ing to us. What is this big F---ing joke? It is puerile."

Local guide Andreas Behmueller said it was only the British that had a fixation with F---ing.

"The Germans all want to see the Mozart house in Salzburg," he explained.

"Every American seems to care only about 'The Sound of Music' (the 1965 film shot around Salzburg). The occasional Japanese wants to see Hitler's birthplace in Braunau.

"But for the British, it's all about F---ing."

Guesthouse boss Augustina Lindlbauer described the village's breathtaking lakes, forests and vistas.

"Yet still there is this obsession with F---ing," she said.

"Just this morning I had to tell an English lady who stopped by that there were no F---ing postcards."

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