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how are things in greece going?


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#1 PatrickT

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 09:37 PM

Greece doesnt make much headlines anymore. How are things there? I assume the economic aspects are still hard but slowly better?

 

I´ll be in Athens for 10 days in may and kinda interested about the current status there. 





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#2 ajaxmonkey

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 08:39 PM

I came back from Greece about two weeks ago, after a 4 day stay in Istanbul. Didn't visit Athens this time but I was in Thessaloniki, Edessa, Katerini, Aridaia, Giannitsa, Kerkini, Serres, Arethousa, Kavala, Komotini, Alexandroupoli and crossed over to Turkey where I spend 4 days in Istanbul.

Economy may be doing better on papper but people have less money in their pockets. Nevertheless: The people are amazing. Despite the crisis, they are friendly, open, hospitable and still try their best and take pride in what they do. The streets in Thessaloniki are safe, much safer than in San Antonio, the buses may be falling apart but they still run on schedule thanks to maintenance crews who do everything they can even though they never get paid on time. Did a bit of hiking on Olympus and Kaimak Calan. The hotsprings by Aridaia were very enjoyable, and packed. Did some shopping in the old market in Komotini, not as busy as I remember it but still... the people were great everywhere. I quess a crisis can at times bring out the best in people.

I enjoyed Istanbul just as much. Explored Old Konstantinople on foot and by public transportation, took the ferry from Karakoy to Kadikoy on the Asian side. Did quite a bit of shopping in the shopping districts of Yenibosna. Explored the area around the Galata tower and the old Galata bridge. It was great, all of it, even though I visited just 8 days after the new years terror attack. Security forces were present everywhere but they were in no way intrusive. The people were extremly friendly and accomodating.

#3 PatrickT

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:45 PM

Good to known. I hope i can see some of the country at freetime. 



#4 admin

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:17 PM

Economy may be doing better on papper...

 

Where did you read that the economy is doing better? :)  I think the situation in Greece is pretty much the same over the past couple of years, which shows that there's no real progress towards the right direction.

 

As you said though, the people are great wherever you go, which shows that tough situations bring out the best in people.



#5 PatrickT

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:22 PM

Where did you read that the economy is doing better? :)  I think the situation in Greece is pretty much the same over the past couple of years, which shows that there's no real progress towards the right direction.

 

As you said though, the people are great wherever you go, which shows that tough situations bring out the best in people.

 

 

Its not a big topic in germany anymore. I know situation is still hard in greece but its going slightly up. It takes time. Give it time. I´m sure greece will do better soon. All nations face hard times and go stronger out of this than before, believe me. 



#6 ajaxmonkey

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 06:59 PM

Where did you read that the economy is doing better? :)  I think the situation in Greece is pretty much the same over the past couple of years, which shows that there's no real progress towards the right direction.
 
As you said though, the people are great wherever you go, which shows that tough situations bring out the best in people.


On paper you read that Greece now has a, rather large, primary surplus. What this means in the real world is:

Half the retail spaces in Thessaloniki are vacant cause there is no money in the market.

The transit authority doesn't have money to maintain buses so they rolled out some ancient vehicles made the 80's.

The roads in the rural regions are falling apart.

Small farmers spend two days welding, hamering and grinding to keep equipment running instead of buying an imported 50 Euro replacement part.

People can not afford heating oil so they install wood ovens and stoves and fire them with wood they cut down without license.

The local gasstations along the border with Bulgaria are closing down cause people fill up in Bulgaria where fuel is significantly cheaper due to lower taxes.

Grocery retail has gone down 35% percent since the beginnng of the crisis cause many in rural Greece have gone back to growing much of what they need.

Which goes to show you that the "Paper Economy" doesn't have much to do with the "Real Economy". The positive in all that is that people, at least in rural Greece, have gotten more creative and self reliant.

#7 admin

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 05:21 PM

That's what I'm seeing too. There's a big discrepancy between what's on "paper" and what happens in real life. I think that people in big cities, especially Athens, are hit way harder by the crisis. As you said, prime retail locations all over Athens and Piraeus are vacant and have been vacant for at least 2-3 years already. The current regime...err government...has brought the retail sector to its knees.

 

Who knows how long it's going to take before life as we knew it before the crisis is restored.



#8 ajaxmonkey

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 06:38 AM

Who knows how long it's going to take before life as we knew it before the crisis is restored.


Life as we knew it led us to this mess, going back to it wont get us anywhere. Either we get our shit together or we are out.

#9 admin

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 09:01 PM

I guess you're right. Life in Greece is never going to be the same again. Things change, and Greeks have to get on with the times.

 

However, this seems to be a common theme around the world these days where many people want to go back in time and live as if it's the 50s, the 60s the 70s or the 80s. It's not going to happen.



#10 ajaxmonkey

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 11:04 PM

I guess you're right. Life in Greece is never going to be the same again. Things change, and Greeks have to get on with the times.
 
However, this seems to be a common theme around the world these days where many people want to go back in time and live as if it's the 50s, the 60s the 70s or the 80s. It's not going to happen.


Those who remember the 60's 70's and 80's in Greece don't want to turn back time. It was in the 60's when my dad had to immigrate to Germany. And what else should he do? He had no chance to make a living in Greece since my Grandfather was registered as a leftist. My dad didn't have many chances to do much in Greece where you needed a "πιστοποιητικό κοινωνικών φρονημάτων" to obtain a drivers license. I, myself, remember the 70's. We got electricity in our village in 1976, paved roads in 1979. Until 1980 there was only ONE Telephone for the whole village that was located at the Kafenio on the main square. After that you had to wait 4 years to get a phone line. I remember visiting cousins who lived at a village by Serres at the Bulgarian border back then. Until 1980 that region was a special securrity zone and you had to pass through internal checkpoints to get there.

It is good that those are things of the past but much of what happened since has been disastrous as well and needs to be left behind. A new approach is needed.

#11 admin

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:05 PM

This is platia Omonias in the center of Athens in the '70s. I still remember it this way (it looked about the same in the 70s and 80s). You don't dare walk around in that area today.

 

Omonoia70s-2_zps44abbfdd.jpg

 

This is Monastiraki - most likely in the 70s from what I can tell from the hairstyles in the photo  :)

 

750656_040.jpg

 

 

Many many people I know in Greece have fond memories of these times. If someone like Trump would show up in Greece and say "make Greece great again" and talk about the "good old times" he would easily get a 40% of the vote. Easy.



#12 PatrickT

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:10 AM

Well i hope things are not as bad as last year when i was there and got a jellyfish thrown at me at beach. 






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