Good News from Greece

A little frayed at the edges but still flying high.
Greek flag at Agios Emilanos - photograph by Ged Horton

Despite what the international media might have one believe, things in Greece are not all bad. 

Wednesday’s general strike was certainly inconvenient but the taxis and ferries ran as normal and we have had some very positive feedback from people about how various airlines handled the air traffic controllers’ strike.  For example visitors travelling with Easyjet were rescheduled to fly the next day and offered a free change to their return flight so that they could extend their stay in Greece if they wanted to.  Monarch contacted all of their passengers as soon as the strike was confirmed and informed them of their new departure times.  In the case of one couple we know, it enabled them to spend another day on the beach in Symi and that is no bad thing.  To the best of our knowledge no one was left stranded.

Tourist arrivals in Greece in general continue to increase with Corfu, Crete and Rhodes reporting bumper airport figures.  While a large proportion of these people will be staying in all-inclusive hotels and may not be spending much in the community, they are enabling hotels to remain open and provide employment and we know from past experience here on Symi, today’s package resort holiday maker is often tomorrow’s enthusiastic independent traveler.   

Another item on the tourism and transport front is, of course, Dodecanese Seaways’ acquisition of a small car ferry which should come into operation soon.  Dodecanese Seaways has also commissioned a new high speed catamaran similar to their existing highly successful ones.  This should go some way to meeting the needs of the Dodecanese islands while ANES has a rethink.  Dodecanese Seaways can never be a replacement for ANES and in any case it is unwise for Symi to be totally dependent on the whims and fortunes of one private shipping company.

The recent ruling by the ECJ in favour of pub landlady Karen Murphy in the UK has brought Greek satellite provider Nova into the limelight – and goes to show that a Greek company can provide a quality affordable service, the antithesis to ‘rip off Britain’.  

While overall food production in Greece has diminished as small companies fade away and consumers cut back on their spending on anything other than essentials, there has been a big increase in organic farming. This is a particularly interesting development given that the subsidy system for organic farming is coming to an end.   

Have a good weekend.


Kojak –   – (Friday, October 07, 2011)  

Not all Easyjet passengers fared well. Two friends had their Liverpool flight cancelled and were not offered another until next week. fortunately they were regular Symi visitors and not "phazed" by this. They managed to get a flight back to the UK on Friday.

Su Lynch  – (Friday, October 07, 2011)  

So good to read about some of the many, many good things about visiting and living in Greece

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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