Neighboring countries may be cashing in on lucrative Hollywood deals with big budgets and international stars, but Greece is turning them away. Producers of the fifth installment of the Bourne spy series starring Matt Damon abandoned Greece as a possible location for the film, choosing instead to transform Tenerife into Athens.
Rather than get authentic anti-austerity rallies, Spain’s Canary Islands were transformed with fake Greek signage, fake Greek graffiti and fake billboards!
Producers chose to depict Greece in locations at the Canary islands because Greece doesn’t extend tax breaks for locally-filmed productions. Nikos Xydakis, Greece’s former culture minister, told private SKAI TV that that tax breaks that draw productions to other countries don’t exist in Greece. He said that draft legislation paving the way for foreign blockbusters was cut short when former Radical Left Coalition PM A. Tsipras resigned.
Matt Damon and Julia Stiles – supposedly in Greece – will be hiring extras from Tenerife. For six weeks, they will spend money in Spanish hotels and use Spanish services – not Greek!