Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I am not a killjoy nor I am I at all envious of material wealth; I have little need of it. A part of my mission is to try to sow the seeds of the idea of there being wealth beyond material wealth, wealth R.L.Stevenson described as that you can take with you in the event of being shipwrecked. It is not the developers of schemes like Costa Navarino with whom I have a problem, my difficulties are of understanding the lust of the markets that drive them.
The courses are less than a one hour drive from my home so I can not avoid seeing the irreversible effect they have already had on the area. Miles of coast fronting pristine empty beaches that has been open for all have become prime development land; charming easy going bars and tavernas are having international/Italian style makeovers, their proud albeit indolent local staff replaced by more deferential, servile immigrants. Fishermen are turning away from the useful lives of their ancestors to become sea chauffeurs to folk who crave constant entertainment. The champions of these schemes tell me that they are manifestations of progress and that they are 'good for the economy'. I can not argue against the obvious signs of material change but I am also witnessing hugely expensive spiritual and emotional consequences, where are the means to measure these? Time will be the ultimate arbiter but I shall be surprised if what I am witnessing today is not replacing the secure, debt-free, interdependent lives that for centuries generations of folk have enjoyed hereabouts with the insecure, deeply indebted, selfish existences of folk in more 'advanced' countries.
I am aware that Greece has a serious debt problem. Greek villages, those at least untainted by mass-tourism, are still largely self-sufficient but the writing is writ large on the wall.
For more information about the catastrophe visit: www.costanavarino.com/