Archive for November, 2021

Residents in Greece over the age of 60 will be fined €100 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, under the first general COVID-19 mandate announced by the country’s government.

The measure was announced in response to a surge in cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant. It will come into effect on January 16 with the fines to be added to their tax bills, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised announcement today, Tuesday the 30th of November.

Greece’s death toll exceeded 18,000 this week with confirmed infections at record levels, as roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated.

Vaccination mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay.

The government has ruled out imposing new lockdowns but says it is targeting the elderly with tougher restrictions to protect the public health service as ICU occupancy is near capacity nationwide.

“The new Omicron variant is a concern for us and means we must be vigilant,” Mitsotakis said.

“Unfortunately, of the 580,000 unvaccinated of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, only 60,000 set up appointments to get vaccinated in November,” he said. “But it is mainly people over 60 who require hospital treatment and sadly lose their life. These deaths are unnecessary.”

Source: https://www.euronews.com/2021/11/30/greece-will-fine-over-60s-100-a-month-for-refusing-covid-19-vaccine

The video with the announcement (in Greek) is here: https://twitter.com/i/status/1465630286356664320

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And we are still counting

The Greek government has given the citizens of Greece until the 13th of December to register. Originally the due date was the 26th of November but that deadline could not be met.

I tried to do it online but got stuck on the last page. It is difficult to complete and the help line was not picking up and never called me back. I will try again and maybe call 211 12 12 032 again or I will write and email to census2021@statistics.gr.

Now that it is quieter on the island there is also more time to visit other places on the island and see the changes.

Part of the old road to Stafylos has been asphalted. It is a pity that on the island more and more paths/dirt road become “highways|. The road from Glossa to Perivoliou has been done too.

We get regular updates from the mayor and a lot has been done so far but I feel that for a Greek island to stand out from the many others and to endure through time, emphasis should be more on environmentally/eco friendly islands. I cannot phantom why some kind of recycling on this island cannot be organized? Is it up to individual initiatives to get something done? I don’t understand it. As of July 2022, municipalities which transfer waste to landfills will be charged higher landfill fees. Will fines be the incentive to start recycling, re-using? Why is being eco friendly not something that Skopelos could be known for and attract visitors?

The island has an amazing nature where dozens of paths are scattered all over the island and kept open by Heather Parsons and her volunteers. There are other entrepreneurs that promote cycling, diving, canoeing, running. These activities also make it possible, with a coordinated strategy, to have a summer where May and June and September are more busier. Is it a utopia?

As always the fall and winter show us different seas, beaches and most of all amazing skies. I cannot get enough of them. Another reason to be here all year round. It never gets dull.

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This is a letter from the mayor about the census that is taking place on the island. Permanent residents are being asked to register themselves with the paper that arrives at your doorstep. If you have not received it because you live to far out of town, employees from the government, especially hired for this work, (with identification papers with them) will pass by your house and help you register.

A great way to know how many residents Skopelos has and the total permanent residents in Greece. In order to be able to register you need your access codes u use to get into your Greek tax file.

The registration needs to be done by the 26th of November. If you need help, you have not received the envelope you can call the mayor’s office. Monday to Friday from 9 to 2 and ask for Mrs. Evi Kathinioti. Telphone: +30 24243-50106. The subject you ask help for in Greek is Apografie/Απογραφή

Skopelos, 18-11-2021 

My fellow citizens and fellow citizens, 

The population – housing census 2021 process has started on our island.  

I want to invite you to participate in this process that will allow us to see how many citizens live on Skopelos and in the country. At the same time it will gather valuable statistics on the demographic and social characteristics of the population in Greece. 

The data collected is confidential, not transmitted or shared to any public or private body and it is worth noting that no sensitive personal data is collected. The data will reflect the real population of the municipality of Skopelos island,  as well as its real needs. 

The general inventories are carried out, taking into account the unprecedented conditions due to the pandemic, with self-registration. 

  • Those fellow citizens who cannot, for any reason, register themselves electronically until November 26, 2021,  will be registered through the process of a personal interview in their area. 

Please open your door to the interviewer The approximately 60,000 interviewers of ELSTAT, bear, in addition to their identity card, a special badge with the ELSTAT mark, on which their details are written, as well as a form with their photograph and a stamp of ELSTAT.  

Finally, they are obliged to observe all necessary measures to protect public health from the risk of further spread of the Covid-19. 


Stamatis Persis 

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On Skopelos we do not have many bars and restaurants that are open anyway in the fall and winter but the few that are open might be closed tomorrow because workers in the service industry will be on strike.

The Panhellenic Federation of Restaurant & Related Professions (POESE), a trade union that represents workers in the service and tourism industries, and other workers’ groups, have called for the 24-hour strike.

They are striking for a number of reasons, including new coronavirus measures and government support for the restaurant industry, which has struggled during the pandemic.

Restaurant strike in Greece

In order to visit any indoor or outdoor dining area, including cafes, restaurants, and bars, patrons must now show either proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a negative test result taken within 48 hours.

Restaurant owners state that the restrictions have caused a drastic reduction in business, and have also put their workers in a risky position, as they may have to deal with unruly customers who do not wish to show the required documentation.

According to POESE, business at bars, restaurants, and cafes in Greece has reduced by anywhere from 30% to 50% since the new measures took effect.

The list of requests released by POESE includes financial support from the state that mirrors that given at the start of the pandemic, as well as aid for rent and energy costs and a reduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from 24% to

Labor union leaders stressed that the service industry was among the first to shut down and comply with anti-virus measures at the start of the pandemic, and that now, high rates of workers in the field are vaccinated.

“In comparison with other places that have crowds, like churches, fields, and public transit, the service industry has shown high vaccination rates, despite the cost and struggle of running such businesses,” the POESE said in a statement.

It is likely that Tuesday’s strike will be one of the largest in recent memory, with countless businesses taking part across the country.

Source: https://greekreporter.com/2021/11/15/restaurants-closed-greece-tuesday-strike/

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As of Monday the 15th Of November Maria Kafantari will open her private practice in Skopelos (close to Cosmo Health polyclinic on the ring road) 

Maria is a psychologist, a graduate of the Department of Psychology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Social - Clinical Psychology of Addictions and Psychosocial Problems. 

Maria has worked for years as a psychologist at Faros, the organization that helps people with long severe illnesses. She will continue to do so but she also wants to help others that are in need. Maria has been trained in Family Psychotherapy at the Family Therapy Center of Thessaloniki.

Her mental health services include individual counseling and psychotherapy, family therapy and couples therapy. Sessions are by telephone - sessions in her office and online. 

Maria can also help non Greeks, English speaking individuals. Her telephone number is 6986522895. 
Her email is: markafa78@hotmail.com. Google maps https://maps.app.goo.gl/H2fm6aRrEppZHF666

Good luck Maria with your new endeavor!

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New rules

In order to keep the number of Covid-19 patients down on Skopelos the cultural association of Skopelos has cancelled all their activities until the 20th of November (dance classes, art classes, the choir and music classes)

Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced that as of yesterday, unvaccinated residents will no longer be allowed into banks, public services, restaurants, cafes, bars, hair dressers and entertainment venues unless they present a negative PCR or rapid test result,

In addition to being required to show a negative Covid-19 test to access services and shops, the country’s unvaccinated workers are now obliged to take two tests a week (instead of one), which they will pay for and access their workplace after testing negative twice a week. In Greece about 61% of the population is vaccinated in comparison to the average in Europe which is 64%.

The government will boost its vaccination awareness-raising drive, which will include sending text messages to the unvaccinated, in efforts to convince more Greeks to get the jab. In the meantime, as of yesterday fully vaccinated adults will be able to register for booster shots.

New measures (recap)

– both public or private sector employees are now required to test twice a week at their own expense and present negative results

– unvaccinated individuals will be allowed entry to public services, banks and shopping malls as well as restaurants, cafes and bars (both indoors and outside), and hair salons only with a negative test result with the exception of super markets, pharmacies and churches

– children under 18 can enter ‘mixed’ spaces after presenting a negative self-test result

– everyone is strongly advised to wear face masks indoors and outside where there are crowds.

Plevris went on to add that more police inspections would be carried out to ensure adherence to the new rules while violators may face fines starting from 5,000 euros. 

Source: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/11/03/covid-19-unvaccinated-greeks-must-have-negative-test-to-enter-banks-restaurants/

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Boat strike

The Greek Seafarers’ Unions announced a 48-hour strike for Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th of November 2021.

The strike will last from 06:01 on Wednesday until 06:00 on Friday the 12th of November.

Please check with the local boat ticket agency if they think both boats will not sail and alternatives for travelling.

Source: https://www.ferryhopper.com/en/blog/ferry-news/ferry-strike-greece

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