Friday, 12 October 2012


Gorse bushes cover a good deal of the landscape of Crete, as they are difficult to control; it is also the case that controlling it is not always feasible, as it may be too costly or involve strong herbicides.

High rise apartment blocks are often seen standing right next to a section of land covered in gorse and other low-lying scrub. It is most likely waiting for that moment when it too will be transformed into a high rise apartment block. The owner is probably waiting to become rich, or sell the piece of land for a high price.

Friends from abroad often remark that for a remarkably Westernised country with close contact to Eastern borders, Greece behaves as though she is still 'under development', as nothing seems to look finished.

Some land parcels seem ot be situated in a prime location but they look as though they have been left to lie in ruins, when all this time, they could have been developed into something that may be paying good money.

So many places end up having a worthless look about them, when in fact they have a high real estate value.

Other times, such areas may look under- or mis-utilised.

But when the time comes to utilise them, mistakes may still be made. Nevertheless, something positive will now come out of all this uncontrolled gorse growth - now that all land parcels and property (regardless of use) will be taxed as of 2013, unused land (and property) will be too expensive to hang on to for the sake of just having something and not making use of it.

It will be interesting to see the same areas in a decade's time; it is unlikely that the gorse bushes will still be there. Greece is ploughing through with developments, even if they seem strange to her. Never before has her Europeanisation taken such a firm hold. Diaspora Greeks beware: that old property of pappou's is suddenly going to become very costly to maintain...

All photos taken recently in the Souda area, close to the ferry port.

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