Skyros, Greece

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Skyros and the Crisis in Greece

Here Yannis Andricopoulos, co-founder of Skyros, the leading holistic holiday, comments on the current economic crisis in Greece and its effect on Skyros' holidays this summer in Greece. 

Greece is heading towards new elections on the 17th of June, roughly forty days after the last one which produced no government. The new elections are not likely to give the mandate to any single party to form a new government and, like the UK, Greece will end up with a coalition of parties in power. This is quite straightforward.

What is, however, complicated is whether and how this new government would want to re-negotiate partly or totally the bailout agreement reached last February between Greece, on the one hand, and the so-called troika –  the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, on the other. Whatever the outcome, negotiations are likely to take many months before their conclusion.

Many people have been asking us what will happen either before their conclusion or after, particularly if there is no agreement.

To take what many assume is the worst case scenario: negotiations collapse, Greece defaults on its loans and then leaves or is forced to leave the eurozone. The latter can’t, however, be easily assumed as, if Greece decides to stay in the euro, as it certainly will, there’s no way the EU can force her to leave. There’s no legal procedure for it. So, in theory at least, we’re talking about only a possible default which, given first the extreme caution with which all parties need to proceed and, then, the long preparations involved at a time that nobody is really prepared for it, will take months before it’s finalised. 

If you're holidaying with us this summer, what do you need to be careful about during this time? Despite the alarm raised in today’s Daily Mail, we can’t think of anything of importance. Nothing would disturb the airlines schedules or the function of the Greek airports as the unions have decided this year not to interrupt the tourist trade. From then on let us take care of you. This means that even if Greece is hit by a new wave of strikes or even riots, which is very unlikely at least during the summer, you won’t be affected. We’ll take you by private coach to the Metropolitan hotel on the Athens coast, far from any potential trouble spot, and then on to Skyros island where life goes on as it has been for generations. The Skyros ferry, owned by the Skyrians, has never gone on strike.

A Greek default, although likely, is anything but certain as the troika may well choose eventually to make concessions to Greece in order to avert it. If that is to happen, we’re back to ‘normal’ times whatever normal is in our times. If Greece, on the other hand, defaults, the Greeks will celebrate before they try to come to terms with their very, very painful new world.

As mentioned earlier, a Greek default doesn’t imply withdrawal from the eurozone, too. But even if that does happen, you will not be affected. You have paid for an all-inclusive holiday in Atsitsa or an almost all-inclusive one at the Skyros Centre in pounds sterling which means that, whatever currency Greece has at the time, we have the responsibility to meet your requirements. And we’ll meet them. You may, of course, experience some difficulties if cash machines and electronic banking systems ‘freeze up for days’, as The Daily Mail warns its reading public. But this will not affect you if you bring in a couple of hundred euros spending money. If need be, we can offer the facility to provide euros on-site.

Finally, one person asked if there’s any possibility we may have to cancel the holiday. There’s none at all. We’ll not cancel it whatever happens either in Greece or in the world!

So book your Skyros holiday with all confidence. Be sure you’ll have a great time, and, by the way, give the Greeks all the support they need in their most testing times since the war.

Yannis Andricopoulos, Ph.D.

For more information about Skyros' outstanding holidays, see, email for your brochure or call +44 (0)1983 865566.


  1. Thank you!
    I have long given up reliance on the mass media, broadcast or written, for anything other than alerts to 'headline' news. My experience of having lived in 'war zones' tells me that life on the ground often bears only a superficial resemblance to what is reported and the speculations of so-called experts all too often become abosulte truths.
    So, while you may have a vested interest in ensuring that our Skyros holidays go ahead, giving us the benefit of your 'insider'information is very much appreciated and I am continuing to look forward to spending the end of August on Skyros.

    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, Tamar. It's much appreciated!

  2. I have been in Greece since November 2011 first in Athens, then Skyros, and now travelling around the north. I hear alarmist reports on the BBC about Greece, that it's on the brink of the abyss, but here on the ground I simply don't know what they're talking about.

    Life continues (for the moment) just as it always did. Yes, unemployment is rising. Yes, people are concerned about their future. Yes, a handful of hooligan arsonists torched some Athens buildings last February.

    But the Greeks seem to have a wonderful capacity for enjoying themselves and for living life for the moment. Many of the cafes and tavernas are as full as they ever were.

    I've just spent a few days on the lovely island of Samothrace, and the only difference from previous visits to the Greek islands is that everyone is even friendlier and more helpful than ever - because they really need my business.

    I've travelled all over the place by bus, train, taxi and ferry, and everything seems efficient, everything runs on time. I'll be here until the end of June, and loving every minute.

    Helena Drysdale