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Thinking of Moving to Zakynthos, Greece

Posted in Greece forum

I've lived out in Chicagoland Area all my life and only went to Zakynthos when I was little but lately have been thinking about going for a long visit and maybe staying there.
Any thoughts?

  • Rob Bartlitz

    Hi Kostas

    posted by  Rob Bartlitz in Greece forum 

    I have to say the same thing is happening here with regards to businesses. They are all closing. You walk through the high streets and see boarded up shops everywhere, it's only the supermarkets that are managing to stay open.

    And banks here would skin you alive if they only legally could. If you work as a banker in Britain, keep it to yourself :) If anyone finds out, they will start spitting at you or worse, we all hate them so much. The main reason being that the bank bosses award themselves multi-million pound bonuses while majority of their customers live in poverty. I have been with my bank over 20 years now and when I asked for a little bit of leniency so they wouldn't charge me £40 for being £5 overdrawn just one day, they told me to bugger off. The banks in Britain are bleeding people dry and will use any means to impose unfair and sometimes illegal charges, horrible and very unpopular people.

    The jobs situation here, I suppose, is similar to Greece in that you are extremely lucky even if they acknowledge your CV. The slight advantage in London itself is that it is a big city and therefore in theory it should be easier to find a job than in the rest of the country. It tends to be more menial blue collar work as those are the jobs the unemployed Brits do not want to do :) Majority of the recent huge Polish immigration are busy doing these jobs.

    I have to say that I feel really really lucky to have a job nowadays. A lot of my friends have been looking for months, sometimes years. When I joined my company 8 years ago, I was the only one that came for the interview (ha ha, they had no other choice). When another job was advertised last year, we had hundreds of applicants, that's how much it has changed.

    It is an odd thing about Denmark as I also have very good friends there, living in Bogense and Jutland. I've already been to see them twice and find them such nice and relaxed people. It is true though that suicide rates are high in Scandinavia (worse being Finland) and it makes you wonder how accurate these surveys are, or pehaps even how they are conducted.

    The whole concept of personal happiness can be subjective. As an example to prove my point, I have a very good pen friend living in Havana, Cuba. I really don't have to explain how different life is to Cubans. They really do live in abject poverty. What is amazing though is that they are such happy and life-loving people. It's not that they don't appreciate their own plight, but that they instead manage to find so much joy in the midst of all that's thrown at them.

    I personally believe that you can be happy anywhere, providing you don't set your goals too high and that a little bit of luck is on your side. There are happy people in Britain and there are very unhappy ones. The problem for me is that the balance has shifted so much in the last few years. Britain is certainly no longer a land of opportunity. I never laughed as much as when I was told that my nephew wanted to come to London to start a business. I didn't realise until then how his impression of Britain was so dreadfully misguided, ha ha.

    Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of Britain that I love - London is wonderful city to visit, for instance. It's just that on balance, my girlfriend and I (and majority of my friends) would rather live somewhere else :)

  • Kostas Kotsialos


    posted by  Kostas Kotsialos in Greece forum 

    My friend Rob,
    I'm fine and i really hope yoy are doing fine too.

    I know what you are talking about. The crisis is global. It's just Greece is basically bunkrupt. People lose their jobs not because companies are trying to reduce their working costs but because they are closing. And the worst are the banks. No cash for anyone. I try to be optimist but....

    You see, there might be a crisis around but try to send some cv here and you will be lucky to get an asnwer with "we are sorry, no". People get more positive reactions from abroad.

    But then again, i am of the theory that if you really want it you can get it. There are oportunities everywhere but you have to look for them.

    As for the Danes being the happiest nation i read it too. I also went to Copenhagen 2 months ago. I had a great time and i was impressed with the quality of life.
    But my Danish friend told me that the suicide rates are extremely high and that there are other theories about their happiness.

    In any case,if Pernille wants any more information we are here to gladly share!


  • Rob Bartlitz

    posted by  in Greece forum 

    Hi Kostas, hope you're well.

    First of all, I apologise, I certainly didn't mean to downplay the difficulty Greece is finding itself in. I actually agree that Greece has had it worse than most countries in Europe with the austerity measures recently imposed and the astronomical rise in prices.

    However, I have close friends and family living in Poland, Germany, Spain, USA, Sweden and France and every single one of them is absolutely adamant that their situation is by far the worst and they get very upset when I try to suggest that others might have it worse than them.

    For instance, the UK and particularly London have been voted recently as the most desirable places to live in... by European foreigners. By sheer contrast, anyone who actually lives here sees a totally different story and most of us unfortunately absolutely hate living here.

    We have been hit by severe austerity measures for nearly a decade now and have just about given up now. It is telling thing that so many foreigners want to live here and yet most British want desparately to move out to another country as they've simply had enough of being pulled and pushed about by the successive governments.

    I know a lot of people here who cannot find a job, have lost their houses and businesses, are struggling with debts to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds (this is actually very common in Britain, people just pretend that it is not happening to them and get further and further into debt). There are cuts imposed everywhere and majority of wages have been frozen (mine has been for the last two years, for example, while all prices have risen unbelievably high in the meantime). There is widespread depression, despondency and anger. Just about everyone I know keeps constantly talking about emigrating, they're so thoroughly fed up.

    What I mean to say is that, like the old saying goes - "grass is always greener on the other side", i.e. we always imagine everyone else is far better off than us. I sometimes find it really weird (and at times a little funny I have to say) that my Greek and Polish friends desparately want to live in Britain while my British friends desparately want to live in Greece or Poland :)

    The world is in turmoil and we are all struggling very badly. There is no denying that Greece has been hit the worst in recent years. Because of my intrinsic love for Greece, I sincerely hope that Greeks can find a little bit of political peace and prosperity soon.

    If I ever moved to Greece, it would be purely for the beauty of the country itself. This is, I suppose, the decision you have to make, Pernille. You see, a recent survey has found that Danes are the happiest nation in the world and that it is one of the best countries to live in. Would you agree with that or do you think the survey got it wrong?

    What I'm saying is that if you do move to Greece, do it for the right reasons and make sure you do the homework first. This really applies to any country you move to. I have first hand experience with this as I have moved countries myself and know the pitfalls you are likely to encounter. It never is how you imagine it before you move there, never.

    Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best.



  • Kostas Kotsialos

    posted by  in Greece forum 

    Hi to all,
    I read your post and i have to say that i agree with Rob until a certain point. Yes, everywhere is tough at this period but you have to put some extra for Greece. It's kinda tough at the moment. We have the biggest unemployment rates in Europe and people are losing their jobs or having cuts at their salaries.
    Of course, that does not mean that it's impossible. What is your field? Where exactly you want to go and live?

    I would suggest using your language bonus as a weapon. Check for any Danish corporations in Greece. There are some. I have a Danish friend who lives in Athens for eight months now and he is having a great time.

    About your question if its worthy to wait my answer is no. Things will be the same for many years. Unless you want to wait for five or more years.

    If you want to share more info i would be happy to help you with any knowledge i may have.

  • Go to pernille jean's profile

    posted by  in Greece forum 

    thank for your answer, I was very happy to read it. I have been considering the job situations, and how hard it would be for me to find a job the first few months. and In some level it is very apprehensive for me. In the same time you tell how much greece is struggling from the financial side, I know other countries has the same t financial problems as Greece, and therefor I ask my self is it a good idea to move right now, or is et better to wait?.

    I have a serious wish about moving to Greece, after the next to year.
    each day I wish I could look out of my window and say, goodmorning Greece.

    do you leve in Greece?


  • Rob Bartlitz

    Hi Pernille

    posted by  Rob Bartlitz in Greece forum 

    Pernille, Greece is actually like everywhere nowadays. Jobs are hard to find and living has become more expensive. The price of food has gone through the roof on the global market, and it has affected Greece as well as all other countries. This has mainly been due to political instability in the Middle East, which has driven the price of oil up and consequently the cost of transport.

    I know that Greece is struggling badly at the moment, but as I say - remember that majority of countries are. Being able to have a good, steady job is a luxury in Britain and food and petrol prices are abysmal. Coupled with a general high cost of living, Britain is in the same situation and it looks like it will get only worse.

    What I'm saying is that, just like eveyrwhere else, you're going to find it difficult to secure a job there and will certainly struggle for the first few months, but if you look on the positive side, Greece has stunning countryside, over 4000 beautiful islands with pristine clear warm waters, sun for most of the year, fresh, tasty and healthy food, a rich, fascinating history and wonderfully friendly people who take life at a much slower pace than most other European neighbours.

    If you are serious about moving to Greece, don't look at it like a tourist, but rather as an opportunity for creating a new life for yourself and your family. Don't be afraid to move to Greece, just be cautious - like you would be moving to any country.

    All the best,


  • Go to pernille jean's profile

    posted by  in Greece forum 

    Hallo every one.
    I am new in here, i have just read your postets.I also want to move to Greece, but i dont know how to find job? and is it a good idea?, I just wondering over all the thinks you had been taking about in here.

  • Ilona Urbonaviciene


    posted by  Ilona Urbonaviciene in Greece forum 

    For me best place is Chalkidiki. I love Sithonia... and maybe, some day I will be here :)

  • Rob Bartlitz


    posted by  Rob Bartlitz in Greece forum 

    Thassos is a lovely place and definitely one of my favourite islands. It is plush and green and not very full of tourists - a real plus. A gem of an island.

    Just be mindful that it is a much less populated island and therefore it is always harder to find jobs and things in places like these (although the ferry connection to the port of Kavala on the mainland is really good).

    Like Kostas says, always check the place out first before making any life-changing decisions. Unless you have money up front, moving to an island is better when it's bigger, such as Evia or Crete.

    Hope this helps a little :)


  • Go to nicolae gratiela's profile

    posted by  in Greece forum 

    what about thassos?
    how is life there?

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