Mykonos Building Boom Reveals ‘Wretched’ Side of Greece’s Recovery

Well-heeled vacationers descended from luxury hotels into the gleaming labyrinth of Mykonos’s historic old town on a recent evening, ogling gold jewelry and heading to bars offering pricey bottles of Veuve Clicquot. Tourists sailing the Aegean on 15-deck cruise ships ducked into designer boutiques on day trips of unbridled shopping.

Along the island’s famed turquoise coastline, exclusive beach clubs were busy extending restaurants on the fine sand, girding for an influx of billionaires, celebrities and influencers.

With more than two million visitors a year, Mykonos is one of the world’s hottest vacation destinations — and a source of prosperity in Greece’s economic revival. Since the country’s decade-long financial crisis ended in 2018, Greece has surfed on a recovery fueled by tourism and investment. Investors have come to Mykonos in droves, eager to cash in on a gold mine of development for luxury properties, sprawling hotels and high-wattage nightclubs for the…

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This article was written by Liz Alderman and Niki Kitsantonis and originally published on