Because of the Greek crisis you’ll find that – despite surprisingly low rents – overall cost of living in Greece is actually pretty high and almost reaching UK level.
Buying a House in Greece
Apart from a few designated areas near the borders, you can buy a house anywhere in Greece. In recent years house prices have risen as more people are relocating to Greece or buying second homes. You will find a lot of new buildings – and a lot of estate agents – so shop around.
By law you need a lawyer, who checks the title at the land registry office. You may wish for a structural survey, and for a civil engineer to check the boundaries, and building restrictions. (more…)
In Greece, the official language is Greek, spoken by 98% of the population. The largest minority language is Macedonian, spoken by 1.8% of the population. Others include Albanian, spoken in the centre and the south, and Turkish, spoken by Muslim communities around the Aegean. These minority languages do not have official status. There are some minority dialects also spoken, like Cypriot Greek and Cretan Greek.
English, Spanish, French and Italian are taught in schools and widely understood. The great thing is that if you have children they do seem able to absorb languages easily, and unless your Greek is very good they will soon be translating for you.
Social Life in Greece
Hanging out with friends is becoming difficult as the economic crisis drives many younger people abroad to look for work. Yet with the balmy weather and beautiful countryside, what could be more delightful? (more…)
After trying to drive in Greece you may opt to use public transportation instead. You may be the only person on the road who has actually taken and passed a driving test, as many people simply use bribes to save themselves the trouble. So drive defensively.
In the mountain areas there are narrow roads, blind curves, and unprotected embankments sometimes on the edge of 1 000 foot cliffs. Look out for people parked in unbelievably stupid places, it’s not uncommon. If you are driving over a weekend, and particularly late on a Sunday, it may be a safe option to assume that everyone on the road (except you?) is drunk. The limit is 0.05%, like most of the rest of Europe. (more…)
IKA is the largest Social Security Organisation, wich covers the expenses for medical care in Greece. The Greek social security institute (IKA-ETAM) will be able to provide information:
IKA-ETAM Odos Agiou Konstantinou 8 Athens Greece Telephone: +30 21 5200 555 -64 or -184
Information is also available online from IKA-ETAM’s website. You can find contact details there of IKA-ETAM’s local offices all over Greece. Try to consult an IKA-ETAM doctor or dentist to receive treatment for free or at a reduced cost. Show your EHIC on the day. You may also consult a private doctor or dentist but you will have to present your EHIC and pay all the charges up-front. You can then claim back the charges later from the Greek authorities. So keep all your receipts. If you are referred to a public hospital by an IKA-ETAM doctor, ask for a (more…)
You may have birthplace of philosophy in mind when you’re relocating to Greece, but the fact is that even though the ancient Greeks had wisdom, in modern Greece they have lived for the present. Entire generations have eluded the tax inspectors – or paid them off. Unemployment soars -16.5%. Consulting the internet to ascertain where the day’s strikes are likely to be is an essential part of life just now. The worst thing in the air is the loss of hope for ordinary people.
Greece entered the EU in 1981 and has been a member of the Schengen area since 1992. The capital city is Athens and the curency is the euro. There are over 2 000 islands as well as the mainland. (more…)
Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton moving to Greece from the UK.
There are no restrictions. There is free import of goods bought from the EU with some restrictions on the amount of alcohol and cigarettes. Medicines for personal use only. Items made from gold or other precious metals must be declared at customs on arrival. You may bring windsurf boards and bicycles in duty free, one piece per person for personal use only. (more…)