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Old 25-06-2018, 16:46   #46
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Re: Scams in Greece

While experiences like intentionally fouling an anchor (not unheard of elsewhere) are scams, some of the complaints fall under cultural differences. In Mediterranean countries the law and behavior are not always consistent. For instance, the Greek public harbors are supposed to be available on a first-come basis - only they are often not. After a long day I headed into Simi and made for an open spot, only to be told by the "harbormaster" that it was reserved - and then watched as the bareboats behind me took the spot (at least he didn't try to charge me). IIRC a long section of the quay in Levkas was reserved for charter companies. Perhaps not the law, but an arrangement had been worked out locally that benefited both parties. The line-handlers may be unofficial but they are certainly accepted by the authorities, and solve some problems without bothering officialdom. So they charge yachties for their services, asked for or not. A place has been made for a local to earn a pittance, and becomes the local custom. Those who don't pay are disrespecting the local way of doing things, and those who give the service away are basically stealing their income. Is this the way I like things? No, not at all. For many reasons. But it is their way, and it will continue as long as it serves a need. As is so often the case, what some nationalities see as corruption is locally seen as just getting along. It should be obvious that locals will not appreciate being told that they are wrong by a wealthy (to them) tourist. So best lose the attitude.

Another way of making a living is to charge yachts for water from public sources (a good argument for an RO watermaker). At one fuel dock elsewhere in the Med I asked for water when I fueled. The nice woman running the dock explained that she couldn't give me water because the adjacent marina demanded she not do it, so yachts would be forced into the marina. Similarly many traditional anchorages are roped off with swim floats (further out than anyone would swim) to push yachts into marinas. Like most other cruisers I don't like being manipulated to squeeze more money out no matter how it is justified, but the legality really isn't the issue. These communities live on tourist dollars and they feel the charges are justified. If you don't, find a way around or go elsewhere.

The comparison with Croatia is apt. They may be a lot better at sticking to the law, but they also charge a lot more to cruise there. One may reasonably ask why Greece doesn't charge much more for harbor space, and include the services from full-time staff. It would be a lot clearer and more expensive - is that an improvement?

I should add that as a single-hander I have been very grateful for the assistance from other cruisers who took my bow lines when Med mooring - a courtesy I try to return frequently. It is sad to lose this in favor of paid locals.

Greg
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Old 25-06-2018, 16:57   #47
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Re: Scams in Greece

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Hard to understand..
If you think handling yr lines is expensive in Greece or they are intentionally scrambling yr anchor in some places, don't go to Greece.. If you think Turkish marinas are expensive but you still prefer to stay in marinas , don't go to Turkey. If you think that in Sicilly yr neighboring boats are stealing yr staff, don't go to Italy. If you think that the mooring balls are too expensive in Croatia, don't go to Croatia either. Do not cruise !! stay at home.. Or , if you find a place where none of these things are happening, pls let me know, I'll be there soon..

Cheers

Yeloya
^^^^^^This^^^^^^

Well said!
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Old 26-06-2018, 00:14   #48
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Re: Scams in Greece

Thank you all for your comments. I would like to summarise a few things:

1 Abusive threatening behavior is not acceptable and should not be encouraged by payment. Port police can be called.

2 In Greece the law is NO RECEIPT = NO PAY (and the receipt should be an official tax receipt stating the VAT paid, tax number etc, not a scrap from a stationery pad)

3 Interfering with someones anchor (reported in SIMI) is dangerous and illegal

4 We help each other and if the dockside 'mooring man' is abusive towards neigbours he should be firmly told 'no thanks'.

5 If you want help from these guys then agree a price first - tell them you will need a tax receipt.

6 Don't let these guys spoil your trip around this wonderful cruising area.

Good sailing
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Old 26-06-2018, 00:26   #49
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Re: Scams in Greece

Would be nice if the “help fee” was somewhat standard. Post the price on the marina website or something.
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Old 26-06-2018, 18:03   #50
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Re: Scams in Greece

One thing not considered, is, to help Greece help themselves,
After having had numerous European Union "bail outs", and having recieved billions of Euros funding, the EU, and no doubt many other countries, want to stop thinking f Greece as a financial "joke", a laughing stock!

By asking for the Tax Invoice/Tax Reciept, by asking for correct documents, etc, the Greek economy will improve, slowly.
It does not matter so much what amount gets charged, for whatservice, but as long as it is all above board.
If some ports get a bit to greedy, the visitors jst wont go there, they then realise this, and change their ways, and, then, visitors will come back.

Sure, there will still be plenty of locals that will keep trying for cash cash, but, over time, this will change.
We have to help each other, but also help the economy's of the Countries we visit, but done properly.
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Old 26-06-2018, 20:01   #51
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Re: Scams in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Hard to understand..
If you think handling yr lines is expensive in Greece or they are intentionally scrambling yr anchor in some places, don't go to Greece.. If you think Turkish marinas are expensive but you still prefer to stay in marinas , don't go to Turkey. If you think that in Sicilly yr neighboring boats are stealing yr staff, don't go to Italy. If you think that the mooring balls are too expensive in Croatia, don't go to Croatia either. Do not cruise !! stay at home.. Or , if you find a place where none of these things are happening, pls let me know, I'll be there soon..

Cheers

Yeloya
Hello Yeloya,
The ignorance of these countries culture and port operations is incredible. It's hard to believe that 1/4 of the posters have ever cruised this area and if they have, probably never learned to order a beer in the native language.

As for a place where none of this happens, it's not the Caribbean. You knew that though. Maybe French Polynesia? Nope, you have to bribe the tribe elders in order to even visit the islands. Where is there no "scams"?
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Old 26-06-2018, 23:44   #52
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Re: Scams in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hahser View Post
Thank you all for your comments. I would like to summarise a few things:

1 Abusive threatening behavior is not acceptable and should not be encouraged by payment. Port police can be called.

2 In Greece the law is NO RECEIPT = NO PAY (and the receipt should be an official tax receipt stating the VAT paid, tax number etc, not a scrap from a stationery pad)

3 Interfering with someones anchor (reported in SIMI) is dangerous and illegal

4 We help each other and if the dockside 'mooring man' is abusive towards neigbours he should be firmly told 'no thanks'.

5 If you want help from these guys then agree a price first - tell them you will need a tax receipt.

6 Don't let these guys spoil your trip around this wonderful cruising area.

Good sailing
Obviously you're a rules driven type of guy! I suggest you avoid Greece by all means. In Greece, rules are meant to be broken in the field wherever and whenever it needs to be... and this goes all the way back to their, supposedly, ancestors!
Good Sailing = Avoid confrontation with anything on your way; weather, people, boats, etc since there's a chance you're gonna be "abused"
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Old 29-06-2018, 15:06   #53
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Re: Scams in Greece

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Originally Posted by Hahser View Post
Thank you all for your comments. I would like to summarise a few things:
Just to be clear, you are summarizing your position and not a consensus.


I apologize in advance, but the cultural insensitivity is just too hard to ignore. So let me "review" a few things:


1) A few years ago Greece got itself into a deep financial hole, and was unable to repay its debts - much of them held by German banks, as well as other EU banks. (This being the predictable result of allowing Greece to cook the books to meet Euro entrance requirements, a fact well known to all at the time.)


2) The German government, defending its banks' profits (not necessarily a bad thing), worked to tie any EU or Euro area bailout of Greece to a program of reduced expenditures, increased tax collection and austerity. (Never mind that no economy has ever shrunk its way out of debt.)


3) The painful austerity that Greeks have experienced ever since is correctly blamed on the other EU countries and their financial influence, if also blind to the Greeks' own very large part in the matter.


4) Ending corruption and achieving a high tax compliance rate really needs to happen throughout the Med. But forcing this change on a populace at a time of widespread impoverishment has resulted in resentment for wealthy nations and their citizens.


5) So for a foreigner to come into their harbor and start demanding tax receipts, essentially trying to enforce the foreign-imposed tax collection (and further reducing their incomes), is just demanding to be mistreated. Of course going into any country and demanding that they do things differently is offensive, but this is an extreme case. Blame the Greeks if you like, but you provoke the reaction with your behavior, whether you will own up to it or not.


Personally I decided a while back to take the stance that I will not actively be a part of a tax fraud, as in negotiating a deal with the understanding that there will be no tax receipt. We should show a good example. OTOH it is not my place to enforce the law either, especially by demanding a tax receipt for a few Euros given to a dock worker. This is a problem the Greeks have to solve, and interjecting ourselves into the matter is both counter-productive and offensive. It also has class overtones as it singularly ignores the massive tax frauds at the top while hitting people at the bottom. So just leave it alone.

Greg
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Old 29-06-2018, 22:04   #54
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Re: Scams in Greece

Just finished sailing a week in Cyclades. Docking at the seawall with 17-22 knots crosswinds with a 48ft mono in full parking... I looked for “that guy” to help me for any fee.... Never found him. Some nice sailors helped... and no we didn’t crash... uff
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Old 30-06-2018, 08:53   #55
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Re: Scams in Greece

Yesterday I was in Simi after almost a year. They were couple of people taking my lines, one asked if I wanted a power, I said how much; she said 16 A costs 8 €, they didn't ask any money for taking the lines. I asked for the mooring fee, she said yr agent will tell you how much. (Last year this was 12 € for 43 catamaran, this year 20 €)
To my surprise, the port was completly empty, couple of large turkish gulets, a few turkish sailing boats, onlt two or three italian , one german boat..The agent said, Rhodes is in the same situation because turks don't come that often because of heavily devaluated Lira against euro. He said that crusiers prefer Turkey as it became cheaper than Greece. Well, I don't really think so, Turkey is a bit more lively than last year but not to the extend to justify the drop of cruisiers in Simi or Rhodes.
Cheers
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Old 03-07-2018, 17:43   #56
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Re: Scams in Greece

I have heard about this scam several times and it happened to someone I know in Bocas del Toro, Panama. A similar scam is operated in Cape Town with parking of cars... the local street people, usher you into a parking space and then demand a payment (as if you couldn't reverse into a parking space by yourself LOL) But if you don't pay them something, your car can easily get damaged as your payment also covers them protecting your car.

Regarding Greece... are these people Greek nationals or are they Somali or other immigrants from Africa? Because in those countries they pull these kind of stunts often.
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Old 03-07-2018, 23:34   #57
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Re: Scams in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hahser View Post
New scam in Greece:

On entering a harbour some random guy 'helps you in' i.e. takes your lines. Later you are presented with a bill for at least euro10 or more commonly 1euro per boat metre.

I haven't asked for help and don't need it but we yachties often volunteer and help each other. I was charged euro 12 for the guy taking two lines. The receipt he offered was a joke - something from a stationers. I demanded a tax receipt (the rule in Greece is now no tax receipt = no pay). He became very abusive and aggressive. Later the port authority came along with an itemised tax receipt which I paid. But I am sure they were involved because they take a cut.

In SIMI near Rhodes the mooring fee of 7.50 was given to me along with a bill for 10 euro by the same official.

You can demand a tax receipt (one with the VAT itemised) before paying - but be prepared for hassle and even abuse. OR you can refuse any assistance and deal with your own lines.

I am complaining to the Ministry for Tourism and urge any other victims to do the same.

This is such a shame as there is a cameraderie amongst yachties taking each others lines and generally helping each other. Now if a yachtie tries to help he/she is sworn at by these guys who see their scam being spoiled. They often wear a tee shirt with 'Mooring Man' - SIMI, or 'Mooring Services' - Kalymnos. Khalki is also a problem and there may be others.

Best to take your own lines.

Don't let this scam spoil your trip.
Hi from Greece!

There are 2 parties when you dock: The port authority who do not need to be there when you dock, unless they want to check your papers, and the marina (if there is an organized marina) party who "help you" dock and charge you for electricity and water. Even if you do not connect to electrical and water, they will still charge you at an organised island during summer because you "occupy" space to dock. Usually they charge per meter (boat size) and the price you quote, 10 Euro is fine.

I docked at Kythnos a few weeks ago, port authority checked papers and a guy from the marina office charged me 10 Euro (for 25 feet boat) for electrical and water, for 1 one.

They MUST give you a receipt however.

In some unorganized ports, and smaller places, a "help" old man may be there to "help you dock" and will be pleased to get anything from you, anything from 1 Euro to 10 Euro.

I hope you will have a better experience next time. I am sorry that you had this happened to you before.

Michael.
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Old 03-07-2018, 23:46   #58
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Re: Scams in Greece

A few tips here.

Usually there are older men trying to help you doc the boat, if there is no official person from the marina office who is obliged to give you a receipt. By culture, an older man may try to help you dock in return for a tip. This is my weekly experience here in Greece at smaller places without an organized marina with electricity and water.

Greek government is (once again) focusing on the wrong parts, taking their share of mistakes every day. Pensions are cut at least to half, and older people still worthy may want to help you dock in return for something (or many times just for courtesy and nothing more).

Yes, bad of anyone who is aggressively doing it. Bad of anyone who is demanding money when this is your decision to offer. I am sorry that you had this bad experience, again.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:05   #59
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Re: Scams in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Just to be clear, you are summarizing your position and not a consensus.


I apologize in advance, but the cultural insensitivity is just too hard to ignore. So let me "review" a few things:


1) A few years ago Greece got itself into a deep financial hole, and was unable to repay its debts - much of them held by German banks, as well as other EU banks. (This being the predictable result of allowing Greece to cook the books to meet Euro entrance requirements, a fact well known to all at the time.)


2) The German government, defending its banks' profits (not necessarily a bad thing), worked to tie any EU or Euro area bailout of Greece to a program of reduced expenditures, increased tax collection and austerity. (Never mind that no economy has ever shrunk its way out of debt.)


3) The painful austerity that Greeks have experienced ever since is correctly blamed on the other EU countries and their financial influence, if also blind to the Greeks' own very large part in the matter.


4) Ending corruption and achieving a high tax compliance rate really needs to happen throughout the Med. But forcing this change on a populace at a time of widespread impoverishment has resulted in resentment for wealthy nations and their citizens.


5) So for a foreigner to come into their harbor and start demanding tax receipts, essentially trying to enforce the foreign-imposed tax collection (and further reducing their incomes), is just demanding to be mistreated. Of course going into any country and demanding that they do things differently is offensive, but this is an extreme case. Blame the Greeks if you like, but you provoke the reaction with your behavior, whether you will own up to it or not.


Personally I decided a while back to take the stance that I will not actively be a part of a tax fraud, as in negotiating a deal with the understanding that there will be no tax receipt. We should show a good example. OTOH it is not my place to enforce the law either, especially by demanding a tax receipt for a few Euros given to a dock worker. This is a problem the Greeks have to solve, and interjecting ourselves into the matter is both counter-productive and offensive. It also has class overtones as it singularly ignores the massive tax frauds at the top while hitting people at the bottom. So just leave it alone.

Greg
There is an additional angle to the financial collapse of Greece.
The EC extended huge loans to Greece for high budget projects, seemingly investments for encouraging Greek economy.
However, many of these proved useless pink elephants. This happened even though the projects were evaluated by EC so called experts and have been found cost effective before investment.
Now, these monies went down the drain, no earnings materialised, but the EC wants it money back. Small problem - Greece did not earn the money to repay the loans.
So - some of the blame lays at EC door.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:16   #60
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Re: Scams in Greece

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Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
There is an additional angle to the financial collapse of Greece.
The EC extended huge loans to Greece for high budget projects, seemingly investments for encouraging Greek economy.
However, many of these proved useless pink elephants. This happened even though the projects were evaluated by EC so called experts and have been found cost effective before investment.
Now, these monies went down the drain, no earnings materialised, but the EC wants it money back. Small problem - Greece did not earn the money to repay the loans.
So - some of the blame lays at EC door.
Loans are being wired back as we speak, and given back as we speak too. We hear news about payment and receivables every day / and we also hear news about cancelled investment plans.

Loans are also paid back as a result of a huge increase in taxes and a huge cut in pensions (70% in many cases). Cost of living has gone up, earnings have become much less and confiscations of houses are happening every day to those who do not pay the taxes (the new system taxes with the lower earnings).

It is getting worse, not better. But let's not do politics on our friend's post. A very small part of Greece may improve, and I hope this will also be for the boating / regulations part.
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