It seems that this summer Greece is not tipped as a good choice for both travels and property investments. The UK foreign office warned on more than one count – of both health and currency concerns. Additionally, members of the public are complaining about issues concerning unreliable property transactions that exploit foreigners, along with widespread breaches of the smoking laws.The CDC also weighed in on this.
The following came directly from the UK foreign office:
“Localised or severe weather extremes, including wildfires, can affect areas of Greece over the extended summer period. At times, this can cause travel disruption. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the Greek Meteorological Service or European Meteorological Serviceswebsite, follow the advice of local authorities at all times and check with your travel provider for travel updates. See Natural disasters
There were a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece in 2018. You should consider preventative measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens. See Health
You can withdraw cash using a UK card up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600) or the daily limit imposed by your UK card issuer – whichever is the lower amount. You should be able to pay for retail transactions with debit and credit cards as you would elsewhere, but always check beforehand as not all business hold a machine for processing card payments. There are no restrictions on taking euros from the UK to Greece or bringing euros back from Greece to the UK at the end of your stay. When travelling outside the UK you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card).”
The CDC also issued a travel warning against visiting Greece:
This has to do specifically with a measles outbreak.
Other concerns: US, British and Israeli property investors ripped of and failed by the Greek legal system
Holiday makers are reminded that Greece neglects it’s commitment under the smoking ban. Often foreigners are lured to buy properties in the summer – only to find that in colder months they face social exclusion in Greece due to forced passive smoking. The ONLY exception currently is the city of Trikala, rendering almost all Greek islands and the capital, Athens, a no-go zone for non-smokers and asthma sufferers.
There is also serious concern for the way in which foreigners are treated when investing in Greek property. It is not uncommon for prices on legal fees and rennovations to increase by at least 40% from quoted prices. Based on this previously cited article, for those non-suspecting investors who think they can put up with passive smoking in most indoor spaces, it is still a matter of buyer beware when dealing with property transactions. The country may be located in the EU, but in reality, European laws are not enacted. As soon as the Foreign Office revise their outlook, we will update this. Until then: think twice about visiting Greece.
Racism and chaos under Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Greece
Less than a month after the election of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the cracks are starting to show up in Greek society. For a country that earn it bulk of its GDP from tourism and foreigners, these events seem rather embarrassing:
Racism at the Acropolis:
A black women from the UK was arrested at the acropolis for apparent indecent exposure. There were no photographic evidence of the alleged offense. It is somewhat alarming given that there is a strong anti-immigrant sentiment in Greece. Even more alarming is that smokers are not arrested for intoxicating children in public spaces, but black women are arrested even when dressed far more appropriately than the average tourist in bars and cafes.
— Adebola| Travel & Lifestyle (@mybreakingviews) August 1, 2019
Murder of an American scientist – son of a Greek priest charged:
Greece has long had a strong anti-American sentiment. It is known that the Orthodox charge in Greece is rather close to the government and that competing faith groups were oppressed and often denied recognition by government. Now, in Crete, the son of a priest was arrested after confessing to murdering a missing American scientist.
Tax evasion in Corfu & Santorini
Construction and civil engineering firms are taking the lead in black money. Local tax inspectors are seemingly turning a blind eye to their obvious large-scale tax evasion. Law firms, notaries and construction firms in Corfu in particular, refuse to be paid via bank transfer or to issue receipts, taking all monies in cash. These are not poor people, but typically affluent people in Greek society who make no contribution to the system. This has led to the breakdown of public services in places like Corfu where rubbish is simply not being removed, leaving a terrible stink hanging over the island.