2012-05-30

As we recently received a few emails by people considering a cruise at the Greek Islands who were actually wondering if the current situation of the economy could affect their holidays, we will try to describe below the situation and give you a few useful tips so you can make the most of your holiday.

What is the current situation in Greece?
The economy of quite a few countries in the European Union but especially in Greece is going through difficult times lately. People are quite unhappy with the current state that the economy is in (which is because of bad management by many generations of politicians) and the austerity measures which was necessary to be imposed lately. The result is demonstrations and marches taking place frequently around the Greek Parliament Square in Athens which sometimes result in clashes with the police. There is also the occasional strike, mostly in the public sector as the wages are constantly reduced.

Could the Euro currency collapse in the following months and what changes will that bring?
There are discussions about the European Union abandoning the Euro or just Greece getting out of the Euro currency. If this happens eventually, each country will return to its original currency (which for Greece is the 'Drahma'). What this would mean in practical terms, is that when you go to an ATM machine in Greece to withdraw money, you will receive Drachma instead of Euro. The change of currency will very likely be followed automatically by a depreciation, which for a traveller in Greece means that the daily expenses (shopping, eating out, etc.) will be actually cheaper than they are at the moment.

How does the current situation affect sailing around the Greek Islands?
Life at the islands has not changed at all and you wouldn't even know there is a problem with the Greek economy. Actually this also applies to life in most Greek towns and smaller cities of the mainland, as it is only Athens where the protests take place because it is the administrative center of Greece. One thing you will notice mostly in the cities, is that some shops have closed, as Greek people are very careful these days and spend their money on necessary things rather than on unneeded luxuries!

Can I still visit Athens?
Athens is perfectly fine to visit. Just remember however, that you should avoid getting accommodation around the Parliament Square and the two avenues that lead to it, because if there is a demonstration planned, that is where it will take place. You can easily be wondering around the center during a demonstration and not even knowing there is any trouble, as long as you are 3-4 streets away from it. If you would still like to visit the Parliament Square and watch the change of the guards, just ask at your hotel if there is a demonstration planned for that day.
All other places of interest including the museums and the Acropolis are far from that neighbourhood and you shouldn't even have a second thought about visiting them.

Which area would you recommend for my stay in Athens?
Anywhere you would like really, except for the hotels around the Parliament Square (which is called 'Platia Sintagmatos'). Our two favourite neighbourhoods are actually 'Monastiraki' and 'Plaka' which are both under the Acropolis and have easy connection to the airport by metro (the metro station is called 'Monastiraki').

We hope you found the above information useful, but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email us. We'll be happy to hear from you.

Thanos and Alicia

yen
admin@anko-yachting.com (0030)6936-797680 Thanos and Alicia Christopoulos
ANKO YACHTING Ltd.
ZAIMI 52, RIO 26 504, GREECE
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