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Thomas Cook collapse: businesses and employees in Crete in limbo after company's failure

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Thomas Cook collapse: businesses and employees in Crete in limbo after company's failure
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Businesses and tourism workers across Europe are still feeling the shockwaves of Thomas Cook's collapse earlier this week.

In Crete, people working for the company's hotels fear they will not get paid.

"As everyone says there was an earthquake and now we are waiting for the tsunami," said Anna Koukaki, who works at Thomas Cook hotel Mikri Poli.

"The situation is uncertain, we will definitely have some booking cancellations and changes to the programme, but beyond that we are optimistic."

Previously, working for Thomas Cook was seen as a privilege as the company was considered one of the best employers of the tourist industry in Crete. Now many fear they will not receive the next paycheck.

"For people working for Thomas Cook that went bankrupt we do not know what they will do, how they will return to their homes," said Nikos Karichimakis, president of the Sunwing Hotel Employees Association.

"Ourselves, working for the Nordic part of the company, we are optimistic because we know that this part of the company was the healthiest one.”

News of Thomas Cook's bankruptcy troubled thousands of households that depend on the company to make a living.

Valantis Papastamakis is a shop owner in Sitia, Crete. He told Euronews: "We are all affected because the tourist season is still running, families work for them, we work with them too and it is a huge problem."

Thomas Cook is believed to have been the employer of around 1,000 people in Greece alone. Its hotels were part of a chain with hundreds of suppliers and small scale tourist businesses. And now there is a large amount of anxiety amongst these former employees. Information about repayments to its partners, hotels and to staff is hard to come by and many fear they will never get their money back.

Watch Euronews' report from Crete in the player above.