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  • Driving and driver’s licenses in Greece
    not really a rule but more advice Gas Stations Gas stations are usually closed by sundown and on Sundays Price is by the liter and not the gallon of course and very expensive All are usually full service and you are not required to tip In the News Driving test set for overhaul by end of 2008 Kathimerini Greek drivers A modern death cult Kathimerini Hell is other people Kathimerini Car rental down Kathimerini Permalink 7 Comments Ann wrote April 21st 2007 at 12 15 Sounds exactly like Italy Connections connections connections or pay out the nose Eftychia wrote May 18th 2010 at 23 59 Thanks for all the great information Your website has been a great help Do you have any information or links where I can get information about shipping a car to Greece from the US Information regarding Greek customs forms to file fees or taxes upon arrival and the registering process will be especially useful I have also noticed that some vehicles keep their foreign license plates even from the US How is this possible Thanks again e Kat Reply May 21st 2010 at 03 16 Hello and thank you for your question I don t have an article pertaining to this on my site at the moment but a future one is planned that combines official documentation and the real life experiences of my wonderful readers who volunteered to share this information with me to make available to everyone All I can offer you right now is a The U S Embassy s Importation of a car for permanent residence b The Greek Consulate in Chicago s Cars to Greece Based on what I know and have heard it s much more involved than what is described which is why I plan to do an article I saw two articles via a Google search but one is by someone unreliable and the other is by someone who is a known plagiarist I strongly suggest you contact the Greek Consulate and inquire Here s their Contact info and hours Regarding registration and road worthiness you can find articles on the subject at the ministry of transportation s website in Greek there is no English version for the relevant articles Go to Οδηγός του Πολίτη under Το Υπουργείο kalliope wrote July 5th 2010 at 19 30 We just arrived for a 2 week holiday in Greece yesterday and most of the place looks open for business Other than Sixt rental car at the Athens International Airport After making a reservation months ago at Sixt we were informed by the agent at the desk that without Internationally valid licenses we were using our American drivers licenses she could not rent us a car By law I couldn t help thinking there wasn t a little inequity towards a Greek American or an American period Are they saying that at this time of economic challenges facing the tourist industry Sixt will not rent cars to Americans There aren t

    Original URL path: http://livingingreece.gr/2007/12/02/driving-and-drivers-licenses-in-greece/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Walking in Athens
    cities than drive Ugh The few times I was in a car ie cab in Athens I think I would rather have died Kat wrote April 30th 2007 at 19 38 Yeah taxis are another story aren t they I have a few contacts who are taxi drivers that I hire each time I need one because they have maps and use them don t cheat me and drop me in the right place It s almost relaxing Before I found them the BO being lost and not having any change just made me more stressed after finding a driver to pick me up after 30 minutes And what about that Taxi drivers who are elefthero but not wanting to take your fare because it s not convenient or enough money for them OK I ll stop now EllasDevil wrote May 1st 2007 at 00 51 The whole I don t have change line usually is followed by well then I can t pay you Change is found a short time later but I can symphathize with both of you I ve had my stress temper tried beyond belief in a taxi This is why I prefer to drive myself but the actions of taxi drivers still manage to raise my stress temper levels when driving in Athens I m all in favor of shooting them but apparently this idea doesn t sit well in a democracy Your comment Name required E Mail Required not published Website optional Click to cancel reply Notify me of follow up comments via e mail HTML Tags a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite strike strong Greek News RT PGiannakouris Clouds over the ancient Acropolis hill Ap photo Petros Giannakouris https t co jFy9mSPzNA RT nytimesworld Tales of break ins burglaries and robberies accompany the Greek debt crisis http t co dPVxf6vOb2 http t co diLJm39OQa RT graemewearden Greek parliament approves bailout reform package as it happened http t co qs5iiGi4Ju http t co 64IhO9LCts RT TheEconomist Here is an effort to explain the Greek deal in all its absurdity http t co M5vRLtUHr3 http t co a245q6cV6h Banks open today in Greece but many limitations and capital controls still in place naftemporikigr http t co JgPaqMcgIK RT TheEconomist No means yes Signing a humiliating agreement is just the start for Greece http t co UyDFKUZ6rB http t co G26avOjX3E RT graemewearden Greek crisis Protests in Athens ahead of tonight s bailout vote live Photos Reuters AP http t co qpBFeTSk6F http Follow livingingreece Best of 1 KTEL Buses of Greece 2 Acquiring EU citizenship through ancestry or naturalization 3 Jobs and salaries in Athens Greece 4 Free Greek language lessons 5 Best places to work in Greece 6 Should I move to Greece 7 Taste of America in Greece 8 How to start a business in Greece 9 Athens Greece Cost of living Best of An American in Athens 1 Four songs

    Original URL path: http://livingingreece.gr/2007/04/25/walking-in-athens/ (2016-02-12)
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  • What is an EEA country? What is an EFTA country?
    speak read and write German Cristina wrote June 15th 2013 at 05 54 Ciao vorrei sapere se l Ecuador é un paese dell EFTA o no Sto tornando in Italia e ho affittato una macchina ma nos so se devo avere la patente internazionale o no Grazie Kat Reply June 15th 2013 at 08 39 Ecuador is NOT an EFTA country You need an international driver s permit to rent a car in Italy Olafur wrote June 18th 2013 at 21 28 I am citizen of an EFTA country and Schengen country I need to go to England and wanted to take my Nigerian wife with me but now I am told my wife needs visa as England is not a Schengen country My wife is a resident of Spain and we have a Libro de Familia But England is an EFTA country and I come from an EFTA country does my wife still need visa Kat Reply June 19th 2013 at 07 57 Being a resident and spouse is often not enough You did not provide enough information for me to help you and I m an expert on Greece not the UK You need to contact the UK embassy nearest you to inquire or the UKBA directly http www ukba homeoffice gov uk Vitaliy wrote June 2nd 2014 at 15 59 Your comment question was transferred to article Greek national ID card taftotita Your comment Name required E Mail Required not published Website optional Click to cancel reply Notify me of follow up comments via e mail HTML Tags a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite strike strong Greek News RT PGiannakouris Clouds over the ancient Acropolis hill Ap photo Petros Giannakouris https t co jFy9mSPzNA RT nytimesworld Tales of break ins burglaries and robberies accompany the Greek debt crisis http t co dPVxf6vOb2 http t co diLJm39OQa RT graemewearden Greek parliament approves bailout reform package as it happened http t co qs5iiGi4Ju http t co 64IhO9LCts RT TheEconomist Here is an effort to explain the Greek deal in all its absurdity http t co M5vRLtUHr3 http t co a245q6cV6h Banks open today in Greece but many limitations and capital controls still in place naftemporikigr http t co JgPaqMcgIK RT TheEconomist No means yes Signing a humiliating agreement is just the start for Greece http t co UyDFKUZ6rB http t co G26avOjX3E RT graemewearden Greek crisis Protests in Athens ahead of tonight s bailout vote live Photos Reuters AP http t co qpBFeTSk6F http Follow livingingreece Best of 1 KTEL Buses of Greece 2 Acquiring EU citizenship through ancestry or naturalization 3 Jobs and salaries in Athens Greece 4 Free Greek language lessons 5 Best places to work in Greece 6 Should I move to Greece 7 Taste of America in Greece 8 How to start a business in Greece 9 Athens Greece Cost of living Best of An American in Athens 1 Four songs in Greek

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  • Get EU citizenship, passports, visas, permits, driver’s licenses; jobs and salaries
    a long expensive bureaucratic process and the employer must prove and gain approval from the labor ministry that no suitable EU citizen candidate exists Many companies leave the vacancy open rather than fill it c Easiest EU visa Whether or not it s easy to get a visa depends on your citizenship your status as a citizen i e Were you born in a country different from where you re living now criminal record past violations overstays of visas whether you paid a penalty and or are now banned ties to your current country i e A family gainful employment a legal residence and following instructions when applying Consult your local consulate embassy for the correct procedure and requirements d Easiest residency Residency visas are only granted to people who have compelling reasons to be in that EU country either because you are connected to someone already living there or you offer specialized skills that a specific company is seeking that no other EU resident offers A spouse s or fiancé e s citizenship is only relevant when applying for a fiancé e or spouse visa for permanent immigration purposes not tourist Schengen or otherwise work or student visas Some EU countries have them but the majority do not at this time It also has no bearing on passport control Passport border control checks only your passport and does not ask or care who you are engaged or married to e Overstaying a Schengen visa or any visa in the EU Overstaying the duration of any visa carries consequences and penalties specific to the country in which a person overstayed The EU has not set a standard therefore an inquiry must be made in the country where it occurred If you overstayed a visa in Greece or would like to see an example of one EU country s penalties see Overstaying a visa in Greece Once a visitor has overstayed he she is illegal and ineligible for a visa extension residence work permit marriage and other types of official transactions In short it is not possible to do something legal if one is illegal 4 Work permits An EU work permit with validity for the entire EU does not exist Work permits are granted by the specific EU country in which the job was secured according to the rules and requirements of a member state s labor laws Some EU countries welcome immigrants others do not usually due to high unemployment or nationalistic agendas and immigration legislation reflects this Also the majority of work permits are only granted if you first secured a work visa described in the previous section a Authorization sponsorship to work in an EU country Authorization to work in the EU is not EU wide but rather granted by the specific country in which the job was secured This normally happens when there is a shortage of workers in a specific sector industry of a country After it has been determined that there are no native or other EU citizens within the country to fill this position a company then opens it to non EU citizens However few companies opt to do this because it is a heavily bureaucratic and expensive process in fact many companies simply leave the position unfilled In my 15 years abroad I have never seen a single advertisement for companies willing to sponsor EU permit or companies granting authorization to work in the EU In fact it s the opposite The majority of job ads clearly state that only candidates who already have authorization to work in the EU will be considered b EU immigration program mes Some countries such as the UK and Sweden have a professional migrants program in which highly qualified educated non EU professionals with 5 10 years experience specialization in one field may qualify for a temporary visa to enter the country be granted a permit for one year to search for and secure a job then be invited to renew the permit to stay employed in that specific field Some countries are completely the opposite For example in Greece the demand is for low skilled low salaried seasonal workers and the migrants program in place is only available in select Eastern European countries in which candidates must apply at the Greek consulate embassy Many countries in the EU do not have an immigration or migrant program and have no plans to implement the Blue Card Program to fill vacancies since the economic crisis took hold c EU wide work permit A work permit is only valid in the country that issued it it is not transferable If a non EU worker loses his her job s he must find another job contract and renew the permit before it expires or s he must leave the country If a non EU worker wishes to continue working in the EU via changing countries s he must start again from nothing If you are seeking a permit in Greece or are curious about one EU country s requirements see How Americans non EU citizens can move live and work in Greece The only exception to this rule applies to non EU citizens who have been residing working legally in one country of the EU for five 5 years AND are in possession of a long term permanent EU wide permit which gives them permission to live and work in another EU country If you have been residing in Greece for 5 years and would like to understand if you qualify or if you d like to see an example of one EU country s requirements click Non EU citizens seeking long term EU wide permit in Greece Greek authorities began implementing this 2003 directive in 2008 other countries started long ago d EU work permit for non EU spouse Each country grants residence work permits to non EU family members spouses and minors of both EU and non EU citizens residing working legally in the target country although

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  • English-language bookstores in Greece
    Fax 26510 70840 M F 9 00 21 00 Sa 9 00 20 00 Thessaloniki Tsimiski 24 Mitropoleos 33 546 24 Phone 2310 227288 Fax 2310 227233 M F 9 00 21 00 Sa 9 00 20 00 Thessaloniki Mediterranean Kosmos Shopping Center 11οth km Ε Ο Thes Neon Moudanion 57001 Pylaia Phone 2310 472633 Fax 2310 475984 M F 10 00 21 00 Sa 10 00 20 00 Volos Oul 28 Ι Kontaratou 9 Phone 24210 22904 Fax 24210 24530 M F 9 00 21 00 Sa 9 00 20 00 Στα Ελληνικά and to see relevant maps κάντε κλικ Public locations in Greece Reymondos no website Athens 18 Voukourestiou Phone 210 364 8189 In the News Public Πάντρεψε τα ψώνια με τη διασκέδαση Ta Nea Permalink 31 Comments A K wrote September 7th 2008 at 15 53 In 40 years living in Greece your site is the first time I ve had so much useful info in one place I was looking for advice re what to do with my books since I m moving to a smaller house Actually I haven t found the answer yet but am enthusiastic about the potential of your site If anybody has advice on where I can donate my books do let me know and by the way I don t live in athens so shipping needs to be considered Kat Reply September 9th 2008 at 07 25 That s a good question The only places I know that take used books in Greece are in Athens Compendium Bookstore and various sellers in Monastiraki Most expats I know sell their books online via eBay or something similar donate their books to charity boot sales run by various organizations i e SPAZ AWOG sell them via classifieds in English language newspapers or toss them in recycling Universities won t take used books even if you donate them because they have specific needs and limited space Sad but true There s a stigma around used items as if one is admitting they are poor Greece as a whole does not recognize reusing and extending the life of perfectly good items which may explain why the recycling program is failing miserably treated water is seen as dirty so there are water shortages and environmental conservation remains low on the list of priorities A wrote September 9th 2008 at 19 19 Post it on craigslist or another internet board craigslist doesn t seem very popular in Greece is it In the 70s and 80s the womens collectives in Athens suburbs used to take english language books maybe there is a collective local to you that would want them A K wrote September 10th 2008 at 14 04 thanks for the info re donating used books i ll contact the various leads and post the results for others who might be interested CL wrote January 9th 2009 at 17 44 I have tried searching your site for a section pertaining to mailing and shipping to from Greece I am currently living in Greece and had a very difficult time receiving a Christmas package FedEx ed from my family in the U S It was a standard sized relatively small box not very heavy for which they had to pay more than 200 dollars to ship to Greece Then I had to pay an additional customs fee of nearly 300 Euros just to receive it Both the shipper and I had to fax permission forms to the customs office and wait for over a week after the package arrived in Athens to clear customs and receive it So nearly 500 dollars euros later more than twice what the contents were worth and nearly 2 weeks waiting for an expedited package I have my box FedEx never explained any of this beforehand Do you have any advice regarding how to mail things between the U S and Greece without this much hassel Is this a typical experience Kat wrote January 10th 2009 at 13 19 Hi C This is a typical experience and most people are unaware of procedures and duties until it happens to them It is not explained by the courier beforehand because it is assumed you are informed and or employees don t know the laws of each country and or don t want to discourage you from using their services You re right An article on mailing and shipping in Greece has been written but not yet published on this website When it is I ll transfer your comment there For the time being I ll provide you with answers based on my 11 years of knowledge and experience of being on both the receiving and shipping end in Greece and the USA Many are willing to pay the extra cost of using couriers such as Fedex DHL UPS and TNT because they think it s the fastest and most secure way to send things to loved ones in Greece not understanding the bureaucracy and costly duties involved All packages sent by courier are subject to inspection by airport customs This delays delivery Fedex also uses a middleman notoriously bad local courier to deliver its packages which causes more delay and more bureaucracy If there is a problem with the customs form or its release you ll need to fax as you did or go in person to fix it Any package with a declared value of more than 50 euros which includes the price of postage is assessed a duty usually expensive Weight does not matter If clothes shoes or other textiles are inside the price goes up If those articles were made outside the EU the price goes up even more There is really no way to get around this because lying on the customs form will put the package in jeopardy And should it be lost or stolen no one can stake a proper insurance claim With respect to delivery there are two possible scenarios 1 If you re lucky the courier will attempt to deliver your package when you re home and they ll ask you to pay duties Assuming you have the cash on you they let you have the package If you re not home or don t have the cash they give you a slip and you might be able to get them to come out again 2 In some areas delivery will not be attempted and you are expected to go to the airport to break it out of jail This involves going to one office to pay one office to get the receipt stamped and recorded and another office sometimes two one being an office you ve already visited to show this official receipt to finally release the package I once paid two separate fees to two separate offices for reasons I don t understand And I didn t ask why like I normally do because by that time I was thoroughly irritated after 2 hours and just wanted to get out without hurting someone or getting myself arrested If you refuse to pay duties there are three possible outcomes 1 Sometimes the courier will give it to you anyway Why Because it costs them time and money to send it back 2 They ll put in in the remainders bin at the airport and sell it or throw it away 3 It will be returned to the point of origin and the shipper will not get a refund If you want to avoid this in the future I encourage your family to use regular USPS air mail Yes it takes 10 30 days depending on the service chosen and time of year but the cost is significantly less it s incredibly reliable and it will not be subject to bureaucracy or assessed any duties Instead it will be forwarded to your local post office after inspection your mailman will bring it to your home or leave a slip and you can receive it at your door or pick it up without paying anything Should you have a need to use a private courier to send important documents or checks I recommend a USA to Greece UPS Efficient cheaper faster delivery b Greece to USA DHL Ditto And if it s something really valuable or something that can wait just pick it up the next time you re in the USA or have your family bring it when they visit you in Greece Seriously I hope that helped and thank you for sharing your experience Tauros wrote January 10th 2009 at 19 23 Hi Kat My experiences w packages btwn Greece and US lead me to fully concur with your advice on shipping them One small point Since 01 July 2008 all packages coming to Greece from the US only via USPS are subject to a 3 euro customs fee regardless of weight or value or so I m told by my servicing post office This being Greece I suspect not all post offices are collecting this yet but know that mine is and the packages are stamped with 3 different rubber stamps by Customs at the airport Buying from Amazon co uk is also ultimately cheaper than buying books in Athens FMS wrote January 12th 2009 at 02 36 Yes I have been paying this 3 euros customs fee for some time It is completely illegal since Greece is required to implement EU customs rules not its own little Balkanised version of them Of course what this means is that things that should have no customs duty cost 3 euros and other things that should have high duties also cost 3 euros Is this smart No of course not it s Greek laziness about opening the customs declarations which are in English and calculating the correct duty Long Live Stupidity Long May the Lazy Prosper Kat wrote January 12th 2009 at 11 42 T Good addition as always It is unclear whether the post office is instituting the change in my area because I ve been charged nothing on packages coming by regular airmail however my male counterpart had to pay 6 euros on a single package the other day How was this 6 euros calculated No one knows X My experience reveals an intermittent laziness i e Sometimes my package is opened and haphazardly resealed and things are missing but they claim no fault Sometimes it s untouched and the customs official asks me what s inside And I m thinking Uh isn t it your job to inspect it All shipping information and comments will be transferred to the new post when the time comes Jeff wrote May 16th 2009 at 03 09 Hello I m planning a trip to Athens and need a good street map that has everything but will not be a heavy weight like the roads gr atlas and I can t seem to find anything What do the locals use in Athens I thank anyone in advance for any info Jeff in Ottawa Canada Kat Reply May 17th 2009 at 22 53 Hi Jeff I may make your question into a future post or poll For the center of Athens the EOT GNTO or Greek National Tourist Organization street map is perfectly fine and there is a map in the Athens Plus Weekly athensplus gr The Athens Urban Transport Authority OASA also has maps available for outlying areas of Athens northern southern suburbs All of these maps are available at the Athens airport most tourist offices and other points of entry They re free For driving I use a map book you can buy at any periptero kiosk but it s only in Greek For road maps in English I recommend Road Editions road gr or splurging for GPS www oramaeditions gr which is becoming more common amongst taxi drivers A lot of my friends don t own maps and have no plans to purchase any preferring to stop a stranger on the street or call someone they know to ask for directions even berate them for not knowing Paul wrote May 17th 2009 at 22 33 Thought you might like to know that Public on Syntagma currently have a three for the price of two offer on a selection of about twenty English language paperback titles from UK publishers Amazingly they are all priced at 6 90 euros despite the prices ranging from 8 to 11 GB pounds I don t think sterling has fallen quite that far yet I came away with three books cover priced 24 pounds for just 13 euros that s with the 3 for 2 offer plus the fact that on the shop s computer they were priced 40 cents lower than on the price label Note from Kat Very good tip thank you Ed wrote May 30th 2009 at 23 36 Where could I find a place which would sell contemporary literature novels biographies philosophy etc that is written in GREEK My wife wants so badly to keep grow her Greek language skills that I would love to get her a half dozen books to keep her fresh with the language Thank you in advance Kat Reply May 31st 2009 at 22 21 All bookshops on the list have a wide variety of books in Greek on every subject and some ship outside Greece you can click the highlighted underlined names to be taken to their websites The biggest chain is Eletheroudakis Ellie wrote July 14th 2009 at 23 45 I ve been living on Crete for the past year am leaving in September and a persistent ex boyfriend has lumped me with a HUGE stack of lovely hardback books stuff by W Somerset Maugham Tennyson Shakespeare Dylan Thomas Chaucer you name it Don t wish to sound mercenary but I have enjoyed them fully and now really need MONEY more than I need an additional 20kgs of luggage I know you ve already made good points about ebay etc but I really don t get enough internet access for that to be a viable option and as for English newspapers etc I don t even know if there is such a thing here and honestly just want them off my hands with a minimum of fuss yet can t quite bear to dump them at the hostel down the road Kept hoping I d stumble across a nice smelly little 2nd hand bookshop sell them after much negotiation for 4 3 euros apiece and walk off empty handed leaving some other stranger to swoon over the inscriptions However I now realise no such place exists for reasons both personal and cultural would be mutually embarrassing if I tried to give some or all of them away to Greek friends I m really just at a bit of a loss The university had occurred to me seemed like the place where they d do the most good and wouldn t care if I didn t get a cent for them if it meant they d go to a good home But you say they won t have them How Greek bless them one and all Even if I get no helpful suggestions about where to sell books in response to this post I d just like to let you know that your website has been a great resource and also a great source of amusement for me while living here Cheers xx Kat Reply July 15th 2009 at 21 49 Hi Ellie I ve only spent a limited amount of time on Crete and don t know it well enough to make further suggestions so I ll have to leave it to my readers I understand your dilemma though as I wouldn t want to dump or leave behind my good hardbacks either If we were in another country you could donate them and take a write off or at least get them a good home but Greece is another story After all this time I m really glad you said hello and left a comment Too bad it sounds like I may lose you as a reader however Glad that I could be useful and amusing Thank you especially for acknowledging the latter Iason wrote July 22nd 2009 at 14 13 I finally broke down and bought a Kindle this past winter while in the States and it s completely changed my in Greece English language reading habits No more scrounging for whatever the local periptero has as much as I enjoy a summer junk novel as the next person or waiting many weeks for a shipment from the States once I ordered a book from Amazon com for a title that hadn t been released in the UK yet and it arrived a few days after I d left Greece for the States again The device itself is pricey but then you can buy a gazillion books online you do need access to a computer to load the books onto the device of course Jon wrote January 4th 2010 at 18 44 Just read this and now regret ordering a Kindle from amazon com in the US It looks like I m likely to pay customs charges on it The item was about 280 dollars and is being sent by priority international courier Oh dear if I d known I wouldn t have ordered Can I just refuse delivery and let it go back to them and after that get a refund perhaps through fibbing that it never arrived By the way I ve never had a problem getting books delivered because they re cheap I recommend play com and the bookdepository co uk because both of these offer free postage In all but a small number of cases they are cheaper than amazon and if you look at the prices on play trade you can usually get a paperback book for around 3 4 or 5 euros delivered inclusive of postage it ll be second hand usually

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  • Greece: List of austerity measures
    dont pay taxes don t have legal status and absorb public benefits you will go to another country There is a legal immigration process use it Its a matter of principle They hurt local business they don t pay any taxes on their sales and their sales growth is encouraged by heavier taxes At least forbid them from the main shopping areas otherwise how are you going to generate more taxes and support the local economy By allowing citizens consumption to go into the pocket of illegal taxevaders The idea is wrong by PASOK You want to empower local businesses so they grow and create more jobs generate more in taxes and allow you to reduce the spending public sector by shifting employment Not to cut spending and hurt the local businesses and tax economic inputs everybody needs to thrive such as food and gasoline The idea should be to generate economic growth for people not just make drastic cuts to show Moody s were ok to start borrowing again You don t want to tax the rich That won t help in the long term It may seem unfair to the average ignorant that some people make more than them but thats for reasons of smarts work ethic education risk taking and also know theyre a lot more important to the Greek people as a whole than your average government worker Thats because theyre business produces something it generates taxes used for public services where as public services don t generate hardly anything to support istelf employs Greek citizens and provides Greek consumers with products services In a struggling economy its quite important to have this Repelling it for short term payoffs is a huge mistake The rich are the reason the country has any economic output at all You want the rich people to COME to Greece not LEAVE Greece you want their businesses to come in and create jobs for Greek people you want them to invest in your markets and help Greek companies grow which means better job security and job prospects for Greek citizens Aris wrote May 3rd 2010 at 12 56 I m curious to know what closed professions are Though these items may sound austere in some respects it also sounds like opening up of the markets There is just so much red tape in Greece it is a wonder anyone can get any business done at all Kat Reply May 3rd 2010 at 22 33 Regulated or closed professions are those in which people must meet strict qualifications often eliminating any chance for non Greeks to qualify then follow rules set by the government on what rates they can charge and where they can do business This includes notaries pharmacists surgeons and dozen of others it s common in the EU In doing this competitiveness is lost services can be lackluster and consumers lose in every sense Promises to open closed professions have been made several times over the years to allow a more free market and encourage qualified professionals from other countries but nothing has been done I hope that answers your question FMS wrote May 5th 2010 at 23 14 All or most of these measures are things that should have been done over the last 20 years but Greeks refused to deal with reality Now the result of doing all of this at once will be to cripple the private sector at the same time as trying to tax it more It will destroy Greece and the primary responsibility lies with Pasok and ND governments of the past there is also much to blame ordinary people for as well since they said and did all about the mess commonly known as Ellada for the last two decades Greek crisis background links G20 Breakdown wrote May 6th 2010 at 18 48 List of new austerity measures A full compendium of all of the measures it s severe to say the Shannon wrote May 15th 2010 at 06 36 Excellent and thorough article as usual It gave me a much better sense of what the measures mean a bit difficult for me to understand here Nick wrote May 23rd 2010 at 23 01 This is still not enough IMHO Just two days ago they announced the free vacations the government gives away to citizens who make up to 50 thousand euros annually Can this be right One week paid vacation with breakfast included for people who can afford to pay their way The country is sinking under huge debt but otherwise it s business as usual I really don t think Greeks have understood the gravity of the situation They couldn t put a dent in the public debt when the economy was booming yet they intend to make good on those debts with a negative economy growth in a recession by reducing salaries I wouldn t feel very confident of that if I were a German taxpayer either Meanwhile thousands of priests are considered and paid as civil servants Tell that to the German Taxpayers If the EU is to survive this mess they better get their heads out of their proverbial a es and come up with a more realistic plan Kees wrote May 25th 2010 at 13 46 Nice article been to Rethymnon last week and there is much confusion about this Greeks and non Greeks alike We heard that in the private sector hospitality some companies are seriously considering the idea to let the 13th and 14th month go all under the guise of the crisis This could be disastrous as the income taxes would be less and the companies would get richer Going after lawyers artists etc will bring in some serious money the coming years We had our PM in the Netherlands stating that the average pension age was 53 not true I think All in all something has to be done but we re missing the facts and some measures being taken look more like Pavlov reactions Kat Reply May 27th 2010 at 01 18 Hi Kees There is a lot of confusion for a few reasons First the Greek government historically hasn t been very transparent Second initial announcements are made while bills and laws are in draft phase Third amendments resulting from debates or proposals are published along the way Fourth even when a bill is announced as final there are last minute changes Last implementation of the law can be lax It s difficult to follow what was originally said changed or thrown out and what ends up being applied in real life may still be different Anyone who can t read Greek must depend on translators which may not help with terminology Or they must hope the foreign press covers it in English though they rarely do in full because space time and interest is limited in a breaking news environment Even Greek speakers can miss something or get confused if a day s article slips by or rumors start circulating Something else that interferes with accuracy in reporting is the lack of credible statistics and transparency in how stats were compiled Places like Eurostat depend on local authorities in Greece to provide data and some reports will be asterisked because of omissions or processes that didn t meet standards Even the number of protesters participating in a strike can vary widely depending on who you talk to because it has more to do with a party s ideology or a police spokesman s ability inability to estimate than hard facts So your PM probably did the best he could I do my best to fill the gap but I only do this part time and spend most of it doing translations answering questions fighting plagiarism and updating 200 articles and the Twitter news feed This unfortunately has me publishing less new material than I d like Thank you so much for your comment Always nice to hear from readers Really wrote June 4th 2010 at 04 22 You can t tax your way into prosperity If they go after lawyers won t less people become lawyers and if they go after artist won t they just leave for more friendly places to do business or report less of their income George wrote July 9th 2010 at 09 35 I must thank you for your website and twitter info For me it means I can simply follow more or less what is going on here in Greece and what might affect me without forever asking friends or searching the net for what the latest news is and particularly on tax and pension issues etc I have two lawyers that I use here but they never seem to be up to date with the latest circumstances so your website is indeed very valuable My question is simply do you have any update on the pension reform bill as passed recently in Parliament Or do you know where I may find a copy preferably in English Thanks in advance for any help on the above By the way I read your blog on the difficulties of learning Greek and especially trying to speak and understand it properly I am too ashamed to tell you how many years I have been living in Greece and still have problems expressing myself in Greek as well as understanding properly what people are saying to me So I can sympathise with you and all the other foreigners living here who for one reason or another cannot quite grasp this rather difficult language You mentioned how expensive it is to take private lessons and so I thought you and your readers if you want to blog it might like to investigate the Freeconomy Community of Greece see http forum justfortheloveofit org viewtopic php f 123 t 7452 start 10 this is community of people who exchange their skills time facilities and equipment amongst themselves free of charge I note there are quite a number of teachers and others who surely can help a foreigner practise their Greek And of course this site can offer so much more than lessons Kat I thank you again for your excellent website and please keep up the good work With kind regards George Kat Reply July 9th 2010 at 10 35 The Twitter feed is curated from dozens of sources in English and Greek using my news judgment and by listening to what readers want then complemented with tips reminders and practical info I don t waste people s time with banter or every story in the universe More or less What would make it more more and less less An Eleftherotypia article on all 77 articles of the pension bill is linked above under Pensions Retirement The bill can also be found at hellenicparliament gr under Νέο Ασφαλιστικό Σύστημα και συναφείς διατάξεις Ρυθμίσεις στις Εργασιακές Σχέσεις I realize they re in Greek but there isn t a version in English On the subject of learning Greek I think there is a misunderstanding I speak read write Greek with proficiency and fluency eludes me not because private lessons are expensive though it can be cost prohibitive As explained in Why don t you speak Greek fluently I have a job that demands I work in perfect English 14 hours a day Greek is far less useful in the world than Spanish and French two other languages I know so it s not a good investment and I need my bosses written permission to attend the ministry s free IDEKE classes which they never give The ministry s classes are the only ones approved when applying for the EU wide permit and citizenship and this is why most non EU residents need want to enroll in these Thanks so much for stopping in and contributing your thoughts Hope to see you again George wrote July 9th 2010 at 15 41 Kat many thanks indeed for the link on pensions The more or less is a reflection of how I am personally able to keep up with what is going on in Greece considering my Greek is not good enough to understand say for example the news on TV or read daily newspapers So far the month or so of following the Twitter Living in Greece and your website has helped me a lot So I am not sure what would make more more or less less Although Greece is a beautiful country and has let s say a quaint way of life it also has the capacity to shock intimidate and distress people especially foreigners who get caught out with surprise laws that no one seems to know about or even notified of So of course any news on such subjects is very welcome Over the years I have had a number of bad experiences of living here in Greece which caught me by surprise and could have been avoided if I had been more aware of what was going on with sudden changes of laws new taxation legislation and so on So having your up to date information is a real benefit Sorry if I didn t understand properly about learning the Greek language but I would recommend interested readers look into the Free Economy website as I rather think with the way the economy is going we could all offer assistance to others with any skills we may have and at the same time look for help and assistance all for free Can t be bad Maybe we will end up avoiding all the issues of staying the Euro EU and go back to a barter system so using the services of the free economy would be good practise Keep up your good work and thanks for your prompt response to my comments And yes certainly I will contribute with any comments I may have in the future Kind regards George A Greek Tragedy New Family Economics wrote September 22nd 2010 at 06 59 money is coming from other European Union countries governments but the meat of the new austerity measures are coming from the bankers in the form of the IMF The bankers have set Greece up to fail Maria wrote February 24th 2011 at 13 59 Hey Kat In my opinion these austerity measures are well overdue They should have been enforced over 30 years ago Unfortunately we as the younger generation are paying for old close minded Greeks mistakes Also I am not a big fan of the public sector Nothing is ever made easy no matter what office you go to or what long lines at IKA you wait in I have had my bad experiences with anything public sector related and I believe their salaries should have been cut a while back Sorry if I offend anyone I wish I was a divorced daughter of a public servant to say the least LOL Anywho thanks for all your news feeds I visit your website daily and tell all my friends about it You have a huge fan base from us Greek Americans who made the decision to move to this country Kat Reply February 24th 2011 at 23 10 Hi Maria I appreciate your faithful readership and the recommendations to friends especially since I do no paid advertising and depend on word of mouth Though I am American and have insights on how this relates to Greece this website is for everyone since non EU citizens all follow the same laws and half of comments questions come from Greeks Nice to see you again Mary wrote June 15th 2011 at 21 38 Very informative article I now have a better understanding of the measures the Greek government is taking to try and manage the situation My Thia lives in Greece she s 78 and I worry about her and my relatives and all other Greek citizens They have such a hard time making a living at present I think more measures need to be taken at the parlimentary and government official level And this notion of dora gifts of money for public sector employees How much money is lost in that practice Very sad Kat Reply June 15th 2011 at 23 52 Be aware of three things 1 All salaried employees pensioners and eligible unemployed persons in Greece get dora and it s not what you think Read Christmas doro to understand the payment system in place 2 Non Greek residents of Greece are having a hard time also It s not just Greek citizens 3 The austerity measures listed are from May 2010 As I say above there have been other measures since and the ones currently being debated have not been passed and published into law When that happens I will write another article and link it John wrote June 20th 2011 at 17 55 Wake up people The problem is taxes are too high and benefits are too high An austerity program to raise taxes is only going to make things worse Do you really believe someone else is paying for your excessive benefits You end up paying for your own benefits in the form of excessive tax rates When rates are that high 23 VAT tax people avoid the tax as much as possible resulting in system collapse as we are now witnessing Greece needs to restructure entire economy to make work pay and encourage work not the opposite Otherwise Greece will be removed from EU rosemary wrote June 28th 2011 at 21 30 Mainstream media coverage has given NO picture of what the austerity measures mean to families students workers and would be workers It is as though the only important characters in the drama are the EU the economy the lawmakers and the undifferentiated mass of demonstrators Maybe that s what the scene looks like to people trying to hang onto power I want a more complete picture Thank you Kat Reply June 28th 2011 at 23 36 It

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  • December 21, 2010 | Living in Greece
    not taken into account even though the period lasts until December 31 and the rate of pay on the date of departure is used if the employee quit or was terminated before December 10 Calculation of the Christmas doro is based on regularly earned or periodically repeated wages and other benefits and allowances for an average of 25 days work that form part of the normal monthly salary This would include legal holiday and or vacation pay food housing and travel allowances bonuses for productivity efficiency regular work hours in which the employee earns Sunday or overtime pay tips given to the employee by customers or clients According to the Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης Εργαζομένων Ανέργων Kentro Pliroforisis Ergazomenon Anergon ΚΕΠΕΑ KEPEA or Employee and Unemployment Information Center a full Christmas doro is calculated using the gross not net monthly salary multiplied by 1 041666 For example 900 euros x 1 041666 938 euros For those entitled to a partial doro the calculation is 2 25 of the monthly wage or two days pay for every 19 calendar days of employment or a fraction thereof Christmas doro payments are taxed and social insurance contributions for this holiday payment appear as an entry separate from regular monthly payments on your printout Please consult an adept accountant or epitheorisi employee to determine the correct calculation of a partial Christmas doro I will not be able to assist you nor do I encourage people to disclose private details such as salaries Absences included in the Christmas doro Authorized legal maternity leave Absence by students on the days of exams Therapy ordered by a licensed physician of an insurance fund Absence allowed by the insurer in case of illness Excluded from the Christmas doro Unpaid or unauthorized leave of any kind sickness vacation family emergency between May 1 to December 10 Unauthorized overtime sixth day of a work week Bonuses paid for difficult working conditions Union activities Voluntary participation in strikes and work stoppages In these uncertain economic times it is also appropriate to mention that an employee s Christmas doro is reduced if a business or company shuts down permanently or temporarily anytime from May 1 to December 31 According to Eleftherotypia the doro is reduced by half if a company closed for a period more than one month but not longer than two months and reduced by two thirds if the business shut down for more than two months However it does not apply to businesses that closed a physical location and employees continue d to render services nor does it apply to seasonal businesses Professions with regular but variable income Taxi drivers receive a Christmas doro from mid December to early January charging a fixed fee per ride usually 1 euro set by the union in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport In 2009 and 2010 taxi drivers decided to forgo the Christmas doro to show solidarity and sympathy Food servers bartenders and hair dressers get a Christmas doro based on estimated average earnings It also depends on the business and or what contractual agreement is signed between the employee and employer Domestic staff such as valets maids gardeners and cooks receive a Christmas doro that cannot be an amount less than 10 times the legal minimum wage and should be based on actual compensation for services I have no first hand knowledge in this category so questions should be directed at an accountant or epitheorisi employee When is the Christmas doro paid Funds set dates independent from the other but the Christmas doro should not be paid later than December 21 When the doro is not paid by December 21 and an employee files a complaint KEPEA says the absolute latest date for an employer to pay is December 31 The 2014 schedule is December 1 OGA December 4 20 NAT December 19 OAED December 21 Private funds December 22 IKA OAEE and all public sector funds There are deviations if the date falls on a weekend or in the age of austerity and bankruptcy delays due to funding issues An employer can pay earlier if desired The doro should be paid in cash via bank transfer or money in hand Employers cannot substitute gifts company shares vacation or compensatory time off from work etc What if my employer does not pay the Christmas doro You must file a complaint by December 31 In 2011 there was a five fold increase in the number of complaints lodged by employees with 1 545 total from 763 different companies who did not pay the doro on time or at all In 2010 five in 100 workers filed complaints Some companies gave a doro of only 250 300 euros and were pressuring employees to sign a paper saying they received 800 900 euros or else be fired The labor board suspects that the actual number of workers not receiving a doro is 10 times higher Paying the Christmas doro is a lawful obligation not an option N on payment late payment or paying less money than owed is considered a criminal offense punishable with penalties up to six 6 months imprisonment and a fine which cannot be less than 25 percent or more than 50 percent of the amount in dispute Where can I file a complaint Employees are required to file an official complaint in Greek with Ministry of Labor authorities local police usually in rural areas or professional workers organizations The process is not incredibly difficult but is an article in itself Claimants may also call SEPE s dedicated hotline from any landline in Greece at 15512 Most complaints are resolved fairly quickly and in favor of the worker However many workers are afraid to file for fear of losing their jobs which has increased as the economic crisis in Greece deepens The first step is confronting your employer which is what authorities request you do before documenting a full account of your complaint If you have done this and there was no

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  • Young workers in Greece can’t afford independence
    ve heard that although salaries in Portugal are lower they have a higher standard of living than here in Greece because things are cheaper I was there this summer but I didn t get a chance to compare You don t really get a sense of it when you re a tourist yiannos wrote November 25th 2007 at 23 17 what bothers me about the dependence Greeks have on their families is that it isn t going to last if they are dependent and hopeless on their own which most young Greeks are IMO what s going to happen when their parents are no longer around to provide assistance what are they going to be able to offer their kids truth be told the Greeks here rely too much on their parents too but not as much as the natives i read an article about how Greek men do close to zero in the household in terms of cooking and cleaning but i also hear that many young women are useless in that department too how do they keep their houses clean then To all the Greek men out there learn how to cook for yourself remember the best chefs in the world are men hahahah sorry kat as for the euro 700 being average i don t understand if only 1 in 4 makes between 500 700 how can the average be 700 i honestly think the real average wage in Greece is around 1000 to be honest with you there is a lot of tax dodging going on Kat wrote November 26th 2007 at 00 02 T I also thought the standard of living was much better in Portugal when I was there for 10 days but as you said it s difficult to know for sure unless you actually live there There was more value for money better service friendlier people Y I think the majority of kids worldwide are less independent in this generation than past ones regardless of nationality and location Too spoiled given cell phones and cars before turning 18 or something I read an article also about how birthrates in certain countries are low because women see that men don t help out with diddly so there s little or no incentive to have children or more than one since the cost of living demands that both need to keep working So why should a woman take more burden on herself I think many people here have housekeepers many grown men I know still have their mothers come over and do their laundry clean house and cook food for them We dropped clean laundry and food off with my fiance s brother again tonight after visiting mom for example Say what you like about men being better cooks but who did they learn from hmmmm Personally I would never cook for a living because it would take the joy out of it Maybe men cook for a living because they don t at home I highly disagree with the average being 1000 based on my 10 years here and the thousands I ve met regardless of nationality who disclose their salary with me out of disgust not because I asked My fiance disagrees with you also There are exceptions sure But it s not the rule Think about how many might only earn a bit more say between 750 800 and weren t counted in the 1 in 4 and if an employee starts at a low rate how does s he get an employer to raise it by 100 200 a month it just doesn t happen A new survey might come out soon to reveal the average is more like 800 but I assure you that it s still not keeping with the rate of inflation which everyone knows isn t within the EU s requirement of 3 percent though the govt may claim that yiannos wrote November 26th 2007 at 01 39 I read an article also about how birthrates in certain countries are low because women see that men don t help out with diddly so there s little or no incentive to have children or more than one since the cost of living demands that both need to keep working So why should a woman take more burden on herself with all due respect i suspect that s a load of B S used to justify their position on the issue if it s one thing i don t like about modern society which applies more to the country i live in and the one you used to live in than Greece is how the discourse on gender is so one sided whenever a woman feels she is disadvantaged in some way or can t be arsed doing something it then becomes convenient to blame men for their lack of motivation or will it s socially acceptable behaviour blaming men is a national pastime i seriously do not buy for one second that women have less children because men don t help out around the house i d say that both men and women have less children because of materialism no offense and i m not putting you in the same basket or all women in the same basket for that matter but it s annoying how the dialogue is always framed in such one dimensional terms nowadays i long for the day when balance is finally achieved on gender issues when feminists are called out on their B S and when the trickle down effect from the ivory tower is no longer operational Say what you like about men being better cooks but who did they learn from hmmmm haha true true But i m a better cook than my mother and grandmother combined I highly disagree with the average being 1000 based on my 10 years here and the thousands I ve met regardless of nationality who disclose their salary with me out of disgust not

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