The Greek authorities are finally going to be cracking down on misbehaving tourists in the Gouves-Chersonissos-Malia area this year. The three resorts, about 40 kilometers east of Iraklio, Crete, are probably the most popular holiday destinations for tourists in Crete, each year attracting hundreds of thousands of youngsters, mainly from Great Britain and the Netherlands (yes, that’s you guys, we know who you are). We avoid these places as the plague in summer. The climate of extreme violations and antisocial behavior is taking on explosive proportions, culminating last summer in 13 registered crimes, 2.539 misdemeanors and 771 petty offenses. This is in an area of 225.683 square kilometers, and it is served by just 16 police officers.
To give you some perspective, according to the latest official figures, the area offers 100.729 beds (hotels or rented apartments), 471 catering places and 743 coffee shops and bars. It has 702 general shops and 16 banks, plus 160 travel agencies and 170 rental cars and motorcycles offices. There are about 26.000 permanent residents and some 5000 semi-permanent residents (in the summer) who cater for approximately 100.000 tourists each day. There are three night-life “centers”, one in each of the locations, the one in Malia being the most problematic.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that these youngster, hundreds or thousands of them at the same time, get drunk and/or doped up at night and then start fighting or effing in the streets (yes, this is no exaggeration, and it’s not a pretty sight), scaring the shit out of the local elderly, women and children. Most of those (unless they work in tourism and are forced to) don’t dare to leave their houses after dark.
In somewhat typical Greek fashion, the mayors of the three municipalities are looking for outside problem solving. Instead of telling their own people to NOT serve these youngster strong alcohol, to close the bars at a decent hour, to refuse serving drinks when a patron is ostensibly above his/her alcohol intake limits, they are pressing the Interior Ministry that something be done. More specifically, they are demanding an “effective police force presence”.
Anyway, you’re being for-warned: if you come to the Gouves-Chersonissos-Malia area this summer, behave, or else…