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The health ministry of Greece is asking for assistance from the police to address individuals who are spreading false information to discourage tourists from staying in short-term rental apartments in Athens by falsely claiming there is a bedbug issue.
On Tuesday (5 December), a statement from the ministry declared that the posters affixed to buildings in the downtown area, adorned with counterfeit logos of the ministry and the Athens municipality, are completely fraudulent.
The signs, directed towards “dear guests” with incorrect spelling, alleged that health officials had mandated the evacuation of nearby “private lodgings” in order to safeguard the well-being of permanent Greek residents.
They falsely claimed there were bedbugs and used this as a threat to fine visitors €500 if they did not vacate their accommodations, while also wishing them a pleasant stay in Greece.
Apart from the issue of increasing living expenses, Athens and other regions in Greece are also dealing with housing challenges primarily due to the rise of short-term rental properties, primarily utilized by international tourists.
The increase in long-term rental expenses for Greeks has been supported by this, causing many to be unable to afford living in residential neighborhoods in the center of Athens. The value of properties is also rapidly increasing, partially due to the availability of a “golden visa” program that grants residency to foreign individuals who invest in property.
The tourism industry plays a significant role in boosting Greece’s economy, contributing to one-fifth of its yearly production. It is predicted that 2023 will see a record high number of visitors.
The health ministry has directed the police to take necessary action to address the false information. It has emphasized that no one is permitted to spread fear and misinformation about public health matters.
There have been no significant issues reported in Greece regarding the creepy-crawlies that caused concern in France.