>> Friday, June 12, 2015 – Greek economic crisis, Symi Visitor Accommodation, the Greek economy, VAT
|The Blue Star Diagoras is out of commission now for her annual maintenance so today marked the start of the Blue Star Paros which will be doing the Symi route for the next few weeks.|
|The Dodecanese Seaways Panagia Skiadeni, dwarfing the clock tower and police station yesterday afternoon. If you look carefully you can see the Noddy train passing along the waterfront on the left.|
|Yachts milling around in Yialos in the early morning. We aren't seeing much megayacht activity yet but there are plenty of cruising yachts and flotilla boats in the area at the moment.|
|Harani is a popular area to the side of the main harbour. The boatyard in the corner is just for boat maintenance these days - the only boatyard on Symi where boats are built from scratch belongs to the Haskas family down in Pedi, the next main. There are several hotels, bars and restaurants in Harani and we also have some rental properties there, including the Merchant House, Villa Karnayo and Villa Nicola.|
|The ancient valonia oak in Lieni pursues its own rhythm dictated by the seasons and immune to the whims of man. It has doubtless witnessed countless cycles of poverty and prosperity as Symi's fortunes have waxed and waned.|
|I wasn't fast enough to catch this globe artichoke for culinary purposes - in the warm temperatures everything grows very rapidly - but it is going to give us a few days of aesthetic pleasure instead.|
|A Virginia creeper gone mad on the Kali Strata.|
The flag below shows all the Dodecanese islands and is part of a campaign against the proposal to remove the VAT privileges in the Dodecanese islands, an arrangement that was implemented many years ago to compensate for the high costs of shipping goods to the most remote islands in Greece. In the past VAT increases have been moderate and businesses have managed to absorb most of the cost and only increase their prices moderately, but the new proposals would be too great and prices would have to go up considerably at a time when local consumers are already strapped for cash and tourism is down. The last time a similarly dramatic VAT increase was implemented a few years ago, when VAT was increased on meals in tavernas and restaurants to the highest tax bracket, hundreds of businesses closed down around the country within a matter of months as neither the owners nor the customers could absorb the new prices. That increase was promptly reversed when it became apparent that the net result was negative, but it came too late for those businesses that closed down and their employees.
Have a good weekend.