Monday, 4 February 2013

Ferry Free Monday ...

Even the ferry office has given up and gone home ...

Its ferry strike day no 5, Its really quiet here on the island. Temperatures are rising and we from Northern climates do not need a coat. A fleece still makes you glow a little as I found out this morning. High thin cloud and watery sunlight - It feels muggy ...

Both supermarkets are still well stocked with fresh produce. It seems there must have been some items sent over from the mainland by boat on Saturday. However things like Fresh milk and dairy goods are all but sold out .

The biggest inconvenience is for those on the islands who need medical treatment. You cannot make the required appointments at the hospital in Volos. Urgent cases can go to Katis Yorgis by water taxi, then there is a two hour transfer over the hills to Volos.

When the ferries do restart the island will be like Christmas. The post office full of parcels mail and packets. The supermarkets restocked, and people will be able to travel again.

To be honest, I rather like it the way it is right now ...


  1. When do you believe the the ferry strike will disintegrate? Does it make life substantially more difficult on the island than normal, such as your day to day routine?

  2. Hi etidyman

    Thanks for your comment:

    It seems set to continue this week from local reports. There are no ferries - International or domestic moving in Greece. This really is quite different to previous strikes. The seamen are holding the islands to ransom, its an effective bargaining tool.

    As I said, day to day life is going on, some things are in short supply and will become more scarce. The ferries are a lifeline in more ways than one - but if you think, how easy it is to access hospital services, then think here the main hospital is on the mainland and normally you could have to wait up to 15 hours to get there, Then now think there has been no access for five days - It makes you wonder ...

    From TO BHMA (Newspaper)

    During a press conference given by the seafarers union representatives expressed their opposition to the content of polynomoschediou Ministry of Marine and Aegean to be filed in the House and spoke of the serious economic problems and high unemployment that has their industry.

    The Secretary PNO John Halas stated inter alia that "the sailors, active and retired, are experiencing an unprecedented demolition labor and social security rights, which had mastered with decades of struggles and sacrifices."

    He added that "imposed on the Greek sailors practicing an unfair, predatory and utterly hostile taxation of income, forgetting those who have imposed that the seafarers' classroom supplies for decades the national economy with the precious currency of which continues to done even in this dire economic climate. "

    According to the announcement of the PNO assertive frame of the strike include the following demands:

    - Immediate withdrawal of the above bill

    - Reset of labor and social security rights of seafarers in the pre Memoranda and related applicable laws regime.

    - Signing of Collective Labour Agreements for all ships

    - Implementation of collective agreements and the legislation

    - Prompt payment of accrued salaries and arrears of several months the crews of passenger vessels, particularly those of Ferry. As pointed out in a press conference at least 7 ships crews have gone into labor retention.

    - Direct addressing the sharpening of unemployment among Greek seamen, fighting the so-called "black" labor, amounting to 50% of all employees and finally the response agencies MLC (general) in the role for which it was

    - Bring the benefits of House Navy to sailors and their families in their physical body, the House of sailors, to stop the unacceptable and inhuman suffering of seafarers, active and retired, from EOPYY for the supply of their medicines.

  3. It appears that Greece's horrible economic condition is affecting its islands through their transportation needs. Do you notice any other examples of where the economy is negatively contributing to island life? Or that, compared to the main land of Greece and those differences in location?

  4. 1. This is the most expensive ferry route in Greece. No competition until 20th April when the new boat F/B PROTEUS starts service for ANES lines - but with fares 30% cheaper than Hellenic Seaways - People will be injured in the stampede to book.

    2. High rents - The simple economics are that if the landlords agreed to lower the rents, there would be opportunities for new businesses to operate, and taxes and wages would be paid. Here in Skiathos that is not an acceptable option, so when another business closes, you have another empty shop, and another landlord wondering what to do next. You cannot realistically survive on 12 months rent for 5 months work.

    3. Austerity is starting to bite here, I have seen it in Thessaloniki and Volos, Islanders here have been insulated, and do not understand - Like others abroad, what it is like to see a respectably dressed woman, going through the garbage for food. This I have seen myself.

  5. I'm assuming then, that the only respectable businesses remaining on Skiathos are ones that have been around for quite some time. That last description though, about the main land, is utterly shocking.

    If you don't mind me asking, what is your daily routine in life on Skiathos? Do these economic hardships greatly impact your enjoyment while living on this beautiful isolate?

  6. There are plenty of respectable businesses here, as I am sure you know. They are the ones we like to support.
    The blog is my view of day to day life here, as a xenos. Like everyone else we experience the ups and downs that affect us all from time to time.
    I try to share it, as best I can for all those day dreamers, who are not able to step outside of the comfort zone - and try it themselves. But I tell it how it is, and not through rose tinted glasses ...