Strikes in Greece

I certainly can understand your concerns. Big demonstrations and strikes can, indeed, be something to consider before getting on a plane that will take you right into the middle of it. But, unlike many other countries, Greece is not a country where such events will affect you or your family as in countries like Korea or some of the Central American countries. The Greeks are a very mild mannered and peaceful type of people who have developed their own "democratic" style of demonstrating and striking.

Some of the typical characteristics of the "Greek style" are the following:

a. Demonstrations are almost always non-violent where people often bring their small children along on nice warm and sunny days.

b. Strikes are never sudden or surprise last resort union tactics. When any union decides to go on strike, the public is given at least 10 days or more advance notice of their intent to strike.

c. Strikes are not real strikes in that they aren't continuous as they are done in other countries. Rather, Greek Unions will simply announce that they are going to be on a "24 hour strike" on a specific day. Typically they choose a Tuesday or a Thursday. The next day everybody goes back to work as usual. ( I never could understand how they expect to get their employers to come to the negotiating table when they only use this "Greek Style" of striking, but I guess it must somehow work because they usually come to a compromise on the issues within a relatively short period of time.)

As I hope you can see, there really isn't any reason to cancel your trip to Greece. You would only be depriving yourself of a pleasant and relaxing vacation in a place with so much to offer. It would surely be a regretful decision.

Yesterday we had a wonderful 24 hour nation wide strike. It was great!!! I secretly wish they would do it more often. My reasons are somewhat selfish:

1. There was absolutely NO traffic in the morning when I drove into Athens (No buses or taxis) and there was absolutely NO traffic going home after work.
2. Besides the Cell Phone business I also have a Carpet Store in the Plaka area of Athens and business was never better. (This was due to the fact that all the tourists couldn't go to the Acropolis or the Museums and so they all devoted the day to "shopping" which was a very profitable decision for me.)

Of course, many tourists were disappointed that they couldn't visit the Acropolis and some of the other sites and because their itineraries weren't flexible they won't be able to do their Athens site seeing at all. This was certainly unfortunate for them, but most people did allow themselves some flexibility and are up on the Acropolis today.

Hopefully you will agree with me and come on over to Greece as scheduled.

Regards from sunny, calm, and "not to worry" Athens,

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