A life experience of a Polish girl on the Greek island of Crete.

Polka pisze wiec po polsku tez bedzie…

Friday, 25 February 2011

Another day with strike

If you live in Greece, learn Greek or just come here for holidays …whatever… it is a good idea to become familiar with a word APERGEIA (απεργεία – strike).

Since I remember, once a while a particular professional group is on strike.  In August, when the heat wave arrives, the dustmen decide not to collect the garbage. Just before the students are supposed to take their exams or the school should open after the summer holidays, teachers decide to protest.  Strike of civil servants is already known as a steady element of Greek tradition. Honestly, sometimes I have an impression that this is a national sport in this country. Doctors, teachers, pharmacists, journalists, drivers…even immigrants went on strike! You don’t know the day and the time when a new strike will “make your day”. I honestly believe that now, if you ask an average Greek what it’s all about, no one will be able to give you a satisfying explanation. People are just simply sick and tired of not being able to commute to work, buy medicine or watch the morning news.

Right, the last year changes are too fast and too drastic for most of society. VAT went up from 9% to 13% for food and from 19% to 23% for the rest of products and services. The new financial scandals are constantly exposed. Unemployment is escalating with such a speed that very soon everybody will stay at home. The government could not decide on the amount that will be tax free, so the whole Greek nation was forced to collect any single receipt to justify their expenses and prove that they really spend what they spend. I bet every single Greek household for the year 2010 has a box full of faded receipts from supermarket & supermarket   & supermarket (so their memories of how much they spent on feta cheese, milk and bread in February 2010 would remain alive?!) I wonder who will check all those receipts enclosed to each tax declaration.  That will be a fun part of the whole story. 

Two days ago, there was a general strike. Today, most of gas stations are closed.  Hopefully, it will not paralyze the whole country like it did last summer.  There is not too much fuel left in our tank so it’d better finish soon.

About today’s prices of fuel, have a look at the highest prices registered in some Greek towns and cities: 
- Athens – 1,749 euro per liter 
- Thessaloniki – 1,699 euro per liter
- Piraeus, Chania, Rethymno – above 1,80 euro per liter 

The highest price was registered in Samos – 1,84 euro/liter 


  1. Everyone it seams was on strike (apergia) except the tenacious newly blog writer Anna Laoudanska-Markaki.


  2. We went downtown on Wednesday and they were striking then too...saw people marching down the street, which blocked traffic and caused others to be irrate that they couldn't get to where they needed to go and then they proceeded to strike for that! Sheesh, maybe I should stike because the laundry keeps making mountains in front of the machine and not washing itself! Great Blog, and I learned a new greek word today! Thanks Anna!

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  4. Hi to all :) someone had a wonderful idea to create this site www.apergia.gr :D and made our life much easier :)
    I dare to say now in Ellada we work 3 days a week;) can't get any better :D;)
    Anna congratulation on your blog :D I love Chania, got a fantastic friend over there :D