Friday, 31 May 2019

Skiathos friends ...

Steve and Helen ...

Formerly of Stamelos taverna ...


Are opening a restaurant, in far off Huddersfield in West Yorkshire ...

       
If you are in the area, please do give them your support ...

It may be 1500 miles or so away from Koukounaries, but you can be sure of the same warm welcome from your Skiathos friends, now based in Huddersfield ...

Wishing them all the best and success, in their new venture, or as they say in Greece. Καλορίζικο!

[Kaloriziko] – Good luck! = Used when people buy bigger property (houses, shops), or move to another house. From the words ‘good’ and ‘root’ = have good roots!

Previous blog: Breezy ...

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Breezy ...

Someone has left the wind machine on overnight ...

Rather draughty this morning, its been rattling the windows since around 2am. But not a cloud in the sky. A good day to find a sheltered beach, with a beer and a good book ...

If not then perhaps a good day to watch the turbine sniffers, standing behind a jet engine.


One at speed heading towards Milos, passing, behind the quad ...

Not that its a good idea, but if you want to stand behind a powering up Thomas Cook. Then its natural selection day, for the 200 metre 'pebbledash sprint' towards Milos, holding whats left of your expensive and destroyed i-pad ...

So if you are not up for bring sandblasted on the beach, or down at the airport. Anyone planning on wandering around town today?

You never know what you might find, wandering the cobbled streets ...


If you spot a bargain, let me know, I am in the market, for some fridge magnets ...

Previous Blog: Who is on the new council ...

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Who is on the new council ...

What happens next ...

The three votes for your chosen Mayor candidate, that have now been elected, as Municipal Councilors of Skiathos ...

Combination of Skiathos with the Mayor Candidate Thodoris Tzoumas

1.-Nikos Paschalis 270 crosses of preference
2.-Manolis Paschalis 239
3.-Yannis Chanakas 232
4.-Nikos Liakopoulos 230
5.- Matoula Papadoulias 220
6.-Yannis Yanitsis 217
7.-Diamantis Mathinos 217
8.-Georgios Antonitsas 199
9.-Matoula Chondronikoli 189

Combination @ Skiathos United with candidate for Mayor Candidate Nikolaos Plomaritis

1.-Dimitris Dioletta 361 crosses of preference
2. -Pavlos Tasopoulos 361
3.-Tassoula Filaretou 244
4.-Panagiotis Antonitsas 210
5.-Makis Koukoulakis 195
6.-Nikos Giamarelos 181
7.-Katerina Nicolaou 181
8.-Thodoros Kantarakias 171
9.-Emmanuel Kantarakias 170

Combination New Horizons Skiathos with the Mayor Candidate Panagiotis Diolettas

1.-Panagiotis Dioletta
2.-Ioannis Patsas 115

Combination Popular Match with Mayor Candidate Georgios Karpeta

1.- Georgios Karpeta

So the council will have one team with the Mayor, and one team in opposition. They will have to work with the three representatives from the teams that have missed out. (New Horizons Skiathos/Popular Match) To get anything done - or not ...

Pleased to see, my three votes are all on the council ...

Previous Blog: Mayor Election Result ...

Monday, 27 May 2019

Mayor Election Result ...

The results are in ...

Final results of the 26th May municipal elections for the council ...

'Skiathos Combinations United' and 'Skiathos we can' were elected with 9 seats each, the combination 'New Horizons Skiathos' 2 seats, and the combination of 'People's Rally' gaining 1 seat

Next Sunday will be held a re-election to decide who will be the Mayor, as Theo Tzoumas who lead the ballot yesterday, was short of the required 51% required to win outright over Nikos Plomaritis ...


Its going to be an interesting week, as the top two chase the other 500 votes ...

Seems the horse trading for votes has started in earnest ...

Previous Blog: Election day dawns ...

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Election day dawns ...

Its a beautiful morning, once again ...

Today is the day we cast our vote - well those of us that have registered, from the 500+ official residents who are non Greek EU nationals.

Someone once said 'If you do not vote, you cant complain about what happens next' ...

Voting is taking place at the Lyceum school by the bus terminus.

Those of us non greek registered voters, are only voting in the local municipal elections.

You must take your passport and residence card for identification, and find the school room, which is set aside for Latin names (i.e. non Greek names).

Once your name has been found in the voter's registration lists, you will be handed several pieces of paper and an envelope. Each paper will have the name of a different candidate for mayor, in Greek, with a list of names beneath it. It would be good to familiarize yourselves with the Greek name of your candidate of choice. When you enter the polling booth, you throw away all the bits of paper except the one which you have selected as your mayor of choice.

You can then put a cross against up to three of the names listed below, who are people standing for councillor with your mayor of choice. You must put a cross (like a plus sign +) next to the names. NOT an x

This is very important as if you put anything but a cross (+), it is possible that your vote will be rejected as a spoilt ballot. Then fold your paper into the envelope and return it to the registrar.

If there is no clear winner today, the top two candidates will try again, to win your support next sunday ...

The bloke carrying a bell and ringing it, saying unclean, will be me. Chest infection and cough at richter three ...

Later update: Voted in the land of democracy at 15:12pm. Met lots of island friends attempting to suggest who to vote for. Shook lots of hands ...

Handed around 30 pieces of paper, and three envelopes. Around 27 slips go in the bin. Three votes for Mayor candidates, four for EU and one for the prefecture. Each ballot colour coded, goes into a different ballot box.

The deed is done, went for coffee, and shared a joke about Mayor elections, from London ...

If one of the mayor candidates gets 50% of the votes plus 1, that mayor is elected. If not we go for a second vote this time next Sunday ...

Voting closed at 21:00hrs ...

Early results, after seven boxes counted  
Plomaritis 872 (3) Tzoumas 1002 (4)

Previous Blog: Looks set ...

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Looks set ...

To be another scorcher today ...

I fancied making Kagianas or Strapatsada for breakfast ...


Its the last day before the elections tomorrow, for the Mayor, Municipality, Prefecture and the EU elections. So will be interesting in town on the last day of campaigning.

Last Night, Theo Tzoumas held a well attended rally, in the square outside Tries Hieraches church.


Registered residents (Non Greek) on the island can vote for the local and prefecture elections.

This year the elections for the local council are different from the last time. Previously the mayor usually had the majority in the council with his council members. As a result could get things done - or not ...

This time there will be no majority and all council members, will have to negotiate and work together to get things done. It all depends on the amount of votes every candidate council member receives from all four Mayor candidates.

Anyone from the non Greek community, who has registered, and is intending to vote tomorrow, The polling station, is the lyceum school by the bus station. Remember you will need your passport, and residency card.

You must vote using a + and not put an x in the box, or you spoil your voting paper ...

Still coughing, and vibrating the windows, but expecting be fit to vote tomorrow ...

Previous Blog: Warm and rather lively ...

Friday, 24 May 2019

Warm and rather lively ...

Last night ...

Have put a few km's under the trusty Merrils these last few days, crossing town, and a few pointless journeys on the way.

However happy to report one Lalaria and one Kastro in the bag ...



Met some lovely people and escorted an octogenarian with a new knee, as she galloped up the goat path to Kastro. If she can do it ...




Troubled by a very nasty chest cold at the moment. So had to seek the advice of Nikos at the pharmacy behind Kabourelias. He dispensed me some medicine. I also dispensed some of my own.


As SWMBO knows, if I seek or say the word 'Brandy' its a bad sign, and she knows I am feeling well rough. I am a bit musical by night and a cough that rattles the windows ...

Very warm weather yesterday after what has been, a mixed bag of clear nights and building cloud during the day and on the whole comfortable temperatures.

Yesterday it started with clear skies, and had the making of a scorcher, and thats exactly what it turned out to be. Right through to sunset when a few clouds appeared.

After dark around 10pm, I said to myself, whats that strange noise - Rain! and it was fairly chucking it down. Followed by a blinding white flash as the storm announced its presence with a booming roll of thunder ...

Yes if you were stuck in a taverna, quaking in fear (One for the road, its raining) last night, it was thunder, and not the chesty cough doing the damage ...

Previous Blog: Star Clippers - Star Flyer ...

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Star Clippers - Star Flyer ...

Star flyer arriving ...


Star flyer will be moored offshore, today  Wednesday 22nd May.

Its first visit to Skiathos this season, on its scheduled Mamma Mia cruise itinerary ...

Lovely guests enjoying the sites on the island today. Departing at Midnight for Skopelos ...


Webcam ...

Popped into the election office tonight, to press a few buttons with Panos. He called the man with the cam, straight away. Christos, he assures me by the end of next week ...

Previous Blog: Island News ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Island news ...

Q&A session:

Members of the island, non Greek residents met with Panagiotis Diolettas, the island tourism minister on Sunday, at Milos. He gave us an update on his activities as a member of the current island administration. Along with his decision to run for Mayor this Sunday.

He answered questions from residents, about issues with the recycling initiatives, road maintenance, extension of the tourist season, waste management and ...

The webcam:

Something I have been involved with, pressing some buttons on with him, over the last few years.

Dennis and Vera: I deployed the handbag, your ears will have been burning!

He assures me:

It's going ahead, the kit is here on the island, he told me who has it, who is fitting it too.
  • It will be fitted to the clock tower with a panoramic lens
  • Static - Non manoeverable
  • Greater band width, to allow more users to access the view.
  • It will be installed by the end of the month.
Hopefully this month, and this year ...

Star Flyer:

Star flyer will be moored offshore, on Wednesday 22nd May.


Its first visit to Skiathos this season, on a Mamma Mia cruise ...

VAT Rates:

Reduced VAT for food, social services, hotels goes into effect as of Monday 2oth May See: https://t.co/Aq4mA37jCK

I would not expect prices to change, when most businesses have absorbed the costs over the last few years ...

... and last but not least: Great to meet up with Kaye and Trevor for coffee. However this time, they did not have to drag a tree to me, to cut up for winter firewood ...

Previous  Blog: Question and Answer session ...



Sunday, 19 May 2019

Update from Mayor candidate Theo Tzoumas...


Following the Q&A session last Sunday at Milos ...

Here is the promised update, on the plans for his team, in next Sundays election ...


Beloved citizens of Skiathos,

Once again I would like to express my gratitude for your support!
As I promised to you I am sending you our program, our future plans for Skiathos!
The following link is the official website of our party https://www.skiathosmporoume.gr

My Kind regards 

Thodoris Tzoumas

Candidate for Skiathos Mayor


PROGRAM

1. Priority: Drinking water distributed through the main supply.

Drinking water free from mercury. Replacement of old pipe work in the water supply. Extension of network to the area of Kalivia.

2.Infrastructure improvements (flood prevention, improved and updated town planning, roads and reconstruction)

  • Drainage network extended and updated, to Skíathos - Koukounaries and Kalivia. Flood prevention schemes and yearly cleaning of natural streams.
  • Updating of implementation of general town planning , within the framework of new legislation and real needs.
  • Completion of projects within the housing framework, for solving long term problems, roads and road surfaces, parking areas , characterization of perimeter roads ( airport) ,creation public places, upgrading the urban environment in areas like Plakes, Old Port, Pefkakia, townsquares and churche, Al. Papa Diamandi square.
  • Underground cabling in town centre. Reconstruction of Papadiamandi street in the pattern of the old Kalderimi. General improvement of the old stone paths. Visual Improvement of bus stops and moving those to create safe traffic flow.
  • Safe access to beaches.

3. Recycling, cleanliness and refuse management.

  • A clean island from end to end, using and updating the services of the Municipality and by promoting recycling in all neighborhoods.
  • Redesigning waste management, through implementation of a plan of action, with the actual aim of Skíathos being the “zero waste” island.

4. Tourism and large projects

  • Updating and checking security measures to the airport. 
  • Up to date and secure port installations. 
  • Construction of new Marina and mooring for cruiser boats.

5. Skíathos : The ultimate tourist destination

  • Enabling a longer tourist season and supporting the airlines by opening new touristic opportunities.
  • Upgrading Skíathos presence in international tourist fairs.
  • Use of media for sharing information with tourists.

6. Support and strengthening of primary section

  • Providing shelter for fishing boats 
  • Opening markets to promote local produce.

7. Protection of Natural Beauty and Green Policies

  • Ensuring free access to all beaches.
  • Installation of fire detection systems in areas of high danger.
  • Aesthetical upgrading in the area of Saint George lake and Sifteri.
  • Replanting of Koukounaries marina and creating a natural reserve.
  • Collaboration with animal rescue centers on the island.

8.Promotion of our Cultural Inheritance

  • Restoration and promotion of historic monuments.(Kastro,Kefala,Monasteries of Eikonistria and Kechria).
  • Conservation and promotion of the cultural center of Bourtzi.
  • Actions for reinstating an oil press on the island.

9. Cultural, Artistic and Athletic contributions on an international level

10. Useful, contemporary and intelligent Municipality. ( in transactions and services)

We planning to promote digital services ,in order to reduce visits to the offices of the municipality and a quicker service.

11. New Philosophy in Administration.

We will work with transparency in a perfect climate of collaboration with Human Resources and with various private clubs.

12. A Municipality that cares for everyone.

  • Improvement of transport by air and sea to the island.
  • Fair distribution of council tax,help and support for people in need.
  • Program for ‘help in the house’.
  • Insurance for all the inhabitants for aero medical.
  • Purchase of ambulance speed boat.
  • Support for schools and educational institutions.
  • Creation of public library.

13. Action for the total absorption  of public and community funds.

We are working with central and local administration for the promotion of the implementation of various studies and project.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This afternoon it's the turn of Panagiotis Diolettas who will be meeting the non Greek residents, at Milos at 1pm.

If I can get any details from the other candidates, will of course share it here ...

Previous Blog: Question and Answer session ...


Saturday, 18 May 2019

Question and Answer session ...

Candidate for Mayor - Panagiotis Diolettas ...


Panagiotis Diolettas, who represents the island for tourism, on the current council. Will be holding a Q&A session at Milos this Sunday (19th) at 1pm, for any expat residents who are interested.

Seems a few of the residents are away, at the moment. Hopefully some will be able to attend.

Last chance to get the pot holes, and the webcam fixed, before the vote next Sunday (26th May) ...

Good morning to friends in Cape Town ☀️ ...

#Eurovision 

I note that Russia decided to come 3rd and arranged matters accordingly. So they dont have to host it ...

Previous Blog: Morning thoughts and sounds ...

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Morning thoughts and sounds ...

Sitting on a seat this morning ...

Amazing what you can hear, when you are at the centre of the cacophony of natures sounds. If you think of a clock face, 12 o'clock directly in front of you ...

At 10 I can hear chickens clucking
At 11 A young goat
At 11:30 more distant is a barking dog
At 12:30 and in the distance, someone has a 12 bore
At 2 is an occasional cockerel
At 3 is a crow, banging on the lid of a well
At 5 Are some high level sparrows
At 7 are more sparrows at low level

The sparrows also keen to share a few crumbs, of my breakfast which we share.

Now tonight is the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid, in 1944
We have our own 617 squadron - of House Martins ...

Now it seems just like the famous squadron,  they have a circular holding pattern, circling here, over the olive grove, before mounting  a low level attack ...

Swooping low, in pairs, always left to right, to attack the flies and bugs over or floundering in the pool ...

Further up the hill, the  cloud is still hugging the mountain, which is the summit of 'the rock' ...

Later update:

At 4 and distant a donkey ...

Previous Blog: New Horizons for Skiathos ...

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

New Horizons for Skiathos ...

Candidate for Mayor - Panagiotis Diolettas

Launched his campaign, on the New harbour on Monday evening ...


'Dear Skiathites, 
Our combination of "New Horizons for Skiathos" led by The Candidate Mayor Panagiotis Kon. Diolettas descends in the municipal elections aspiring to be this the main choice of the citizens. To be the spearhead of the drive towards a future for which we all strive.
We are the municipal faction that was born out of the inability of others to express to the minimum public opinion and to meet the high expectations, aesthetics and anxiety of the Citizens for a solid course of development, order and culture. This is precisely what we have come to fight for with diligence, consistency and efficiency.
We have become the recipients of the exhortations and support of a large part of our island society, accepting the challenge and the burden of historical responsibility towards them.
Our group is composed of distinguished our countrymen, workers, entrepreneurs, scientists, experienced and respected executives of the Municipal Council, young people, women and men, in a balanced combination of youthful momentum, new ideas, experience, and prudence.
With your support we aspire to be the new Municipal Authority, exercising good administration, based on solid foundations.
We look to the future with optimism for the development and prosperity of this island, where we have claimed to inhabit'

With faith in democratic institutions, 
With devotion to our principles ,
With confidence in the citizens 
With realism and vision, we move forward!

New Horizons for Skiathos.

If I can get a detail from the other candidates, will of course share it here ...

Hello to ...

'Margies friend from Hessle' we had a chat and she reminded me of our meeting over in Volos, when Roy was there.

Pete - 'pwll' who touched down yesterday, here rather than Athens

The Scandies, 'Soren from Denmark, and the famous Stig from Norway' who's arrival is imminent ...

Weather still a nip in the air after dark,  a fleece may be your best friend after dark. Nice and warm by day ...

Previous blog: Skiathos Palace Cup ...



Monday, 13 May 2019

Skiathos Palace Cup ...

Some photos of the action ...





Weather changing today, expect cloud, rain and a breeze ...

Previous Blog: Start of the day ...

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Start of the day ...

Καλημέρα ...


Skiathos Palace cup, final races today at Koukounaries ...

Tsitsiravlo ...

The day just got even better ...


Delighted to have just received a 450g supply, a gift from a very good friend.

Tsipouro to follow ...

Anyone have some 🐟🐙🦞🦐🦑🦀 ...

Previous Blog: Airport Friday ...

Friday, 10 May 2019

Airport friday ...

Seems good to me ...

After last weeks dry run, and walking round the fresh cement.

Today passengers were checking in at both terminals for international flights.

Those who were checking in at the domestic flight terminal, then walked round to the main terminal for passport control and departure from there.

Parking still a little chaotic, but no problems dropping off outside the domestic flight terminal.

Work outside the main terminal certainly coming along,  since last week, but you couldn't drive round to it today.

The airport works are a great improvement and certainly make for a far superior experience.

The terminals are finished, to a high standard, lots of marble, well airconditioned, bright and easy to use, for the less able bodied ...

Sadly it seems likely, that Desires will no longer be part of the experience, for departing passengers ...

Previous Blog: Good news: V.A.T. reduction from 24% to 13% ...

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Good news: V.A.T. reduction from 24% to 13% ...

Which sectors and items it affects

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Tuesday the reduction of Value Added Tax on food items and catering services. The reduction from 24% to 13% is expected to contract a  relief for millions of Greek households who have been paying a high price to staple food items since 2015.

Which items are affected:

Coffee, cocoa, tea, herbal teas, sugar, slat, vinegar, spices, sausages, jams, chololates, wafers, croissants, nuts, biscuits, canned food, snacks, packed bread, snacks, cereals, oils from sunflower, soybeans and corn and all vegetable fats.

In addition the V.A.T. will also be reduced from 24% to 13% for catering services and this will affect prices for food in grill diners, pizzerias, bakeries, restaurants, taverns, cafeterias and cafes, patisseries, snack bars, fast food facilities, canteens etc.

The V.A.T. reduction is permanent and will be implemented as soon the bill in approved by the Greek Parliament. The government aims to bring to effect in May, and before the European and municipality elections.

Previous Blog - Question and answer session ...

Monday, 6 May 2019

Question and answer session ...

Thodoros Tzoumas, who is a candidate for mayor of Skiathos, held a Q & A session with the European (non Greek) island residents, at Milos on Sunday afternoon.

"We can change it, because we will, and we can" ...

Thodoros Tzoumas ...
It was well attended by the interested parties, from the island community.
Theo gave a very interesting introduction to his background on the island. Along with an update on personal achievements  to date.

He took  questions from the floor, and answered and enlightened us to reasons behind decisions, and ensured that it was clear where responsibility lays locally and in Athens.

Up for discussion from the floor, was recycling initiatives, the water system, beach auctions, ongoing airport works, a marina, music noise, the choir, and how to vote correctly on the day.

If you place an x on the box, for your three candidates - Its a spoilt paper.
You indicate your selection by making the sign of  a Greek + ...

Late news just in - Its a boy! Meghan and Harry are parents ...


Previous blog: Airport Friday, a bit nippy and a friend from O Batis ...

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Airport Friday, a bit nippy and a friend from O Batis ...

Airport news ...

It rumbled into life yesterday, with the first UK airport Friday of the summer season. It coped quite well, with the influx of flights. Both terminals in use, and the arrivals area in the 'new' terminal (B) was opened.

You would not notice much difference, from previous years. The layout is the same, but its had a nice makeover, new equipment, and two booths for the police to check passports.

Outside it's very different, plenty of new concrete in readiness for coaches and taxis, but not just yet.

Outside the refurbished old terminal (A), coaches, mini buses and taxis were all in a rather confused state. Along with some of the reps, left outside baking in the sun, and cars parked, as no apparent signs where you can or cannot do so ...

Next week will be a major test, for both arrivals and departures ...

Lots of folk in town as the weather has been cool and overcast. A few grumbles about the weather, and as a result being a bit nippy at night. Pack your bags appropriately, it's cool out of town ...

Sad news to share ...

Fans of O'Batis will know Mr 'Cleanthis' the waiter from Albania, who has worked at O'Batis for many years ...


Sadly he passed away during the winter ...

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Kαλό μήνα - Máios ...

Kalo Mina - Good Month - Máios - May ...

Happy May Day ...

Summer is finaly here - Today the Mancunian Expeditionary force, arrives with Thomas Cook. May Day means its the first flight from Manchester, as the UK tourist season starts. There have been a flurry of what will the wether be like posts, and as the best site is not working, best to look out of the window when you arrive ...

MT1194 on the bay ...
Nationally, as well as being a public holiday, its a 'national strike day' so we are expecting Banks, the Post office to be closed. The Ferries will not be operating, so it should be a quiet day - unless you are near the loudspeakers on the Bourtzi.

If you are on your way to 'the rock' then today, children will go out to collect flowers, to make into posies or wreaths. as today is the Festival of Flowers. Its a tradition which involves decorating houses, cars and even pets in flowers.

A tradition that is said to be linked to the ancient Greek goddess, Demeter, who controlled the harvest and the earth’s fertility ...

Looking forward, its just 223 days until Christmas Day, If you are not on MT1194 then its probably a good time to start shopping ...

Previous Blog: Last Day of April ...

Late News ...

The first flight from Germany for summer 2019.
Condor-1690 arrived from Dusseldorf as dusk fell.


Landing at Skiathos, on runway 01. Aircraft Airbus A320, registration EC-MTJ