The BBC published a story today about the current Greek strike that is stranding tourists by the boatload. The public service employees strike has shut down transportation and medical services in much of the country. Of interest to travelers, ferry passage to the Greek Islands from Piraeus (Athens) is now closed. Air travel, while sometimes a good alternative for travel to some of the Greek Islands was also shut down by the strikers. The current strike comes on the back of another ferry strike last week that was ruled illegal by the Greek courts, but the police did not enforce the ruling and the passengers were stranded.
This summer is the worst strike season in Greece in recent memory. The strike situation, a result of the country’s economic problems, has been prolonged and many think that it may come to a climax in the near future. We suspect that the “strike environment” will last the entire summer, but our opinion appears to be a minority one, at present.
While Greece and the Greek Islands have much to offer the tourist, no one wants to travel with the uncertainty posed by the current situation. The disasterous economic conditions, combined with the reduction in tourist trade caused by the strikes, will certainly drive some of the tourist operations in Greece out of business and undoubtedly harm those that manage to survive this year’s problem. Perhaps, more importantly, the situation is destined to sour many visitors from considering vacation travel to Greece now or in the future.
If you have travel plans that include visiting Greece over the rest of the summer, be prepared for delays and unexpected interruptions due to strikes and possible civil disorder.
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