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Major Strike (Intentionally) Grinds Greece Travel to a Halt

Where: Greece
February 20, 2013 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

We hate getting involved in travel politics labor issues. We say things like 'hey, if your company or your country is in financial or economic trouble, maybe you should go to work,' which seems reasonable to us. You guys respond by yelling at us for - actual quote - "undermin[ing] the intrinsic and sacramental right for unions to strike or engage in collective bargaining." That's no fun for anyone.

That said, we'd be remiss if we didn't at least suggest the possibility that the 24 hour strike currently crippling Greece—which is specifically designed in part to disrupt travel and includes that country's civil aviation authority—is probably not going to help Greece's troubled economy.

Flights have been disrupted. As have trains. As have public services like rail. There's a reason why the strike in general is being covered specifically as a transport strike.

We can't even recommend in good conscience, the way we have in the past, that you maybe risk a trip to Greece to score good deals thanks to the country's increasingly desperate tourism industry. There's no way of knowing in advance, for instance, if ferry workers won't just go on strike and leave a bunch of islands and islanders abandoned, which has now happened twice in the last few weeks.

So as we said: obviously it's not our place to decide for the Greeks whether or not a transport strike is worth further damaging their tourism industry. But we do know that travelers tend to avoid places where there's no reliable air, rail, and water transport. That's why last time time Greek workers pulled this precise trick of suspending tourism-related industries, travelers shifted to Bulgaria. Predictably.

[Photo: sisaphus / Flickr]

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