March 2014 - Monday 24th - It was pretty grey for most of today, with just a little sunshine early this morning, but by the afternoon, rain clouds were gathering and the temps dropped quite dramatically. The weather did give us a dramatic and colour early evening sky however.

Left - Moments before sundown over Stavros.

Tomorrow are the Independence day celebrations in Vathy with church service, laying of the traditional wreath and then parade and speeches in the town square. All starts at 11am. Let's hope the weather is fine again by then.

Tuesday 25th - A mostly fine day today after a night of heavy storms and what sounded like hail.

Left - While the Independence Day celebrations were under way, the junior yachting teams were out on the water outside Forky's bay in Aetos.

Independence Day|Annunciation

Luckily the weather held out for most of the Independence Day parade and speech. It wasn't until near the very end, that it started to spit, and I like many began to walk very fast towards our cars or shelter.

Click Here or on photograph left for more photos.

Friday 28th - It's been a stormy and rainy few days, but today, a couple of sunny patches brightened things up a little around Ithaki.

Left - View to Aetos Bay.

Looks like there will be a few more down pours before this weather front blows over.

Left - Kioni Bayside.

Saturday 28th - the sunshine is back. What more can I say.

Sunday 30th - I don't know about you, but for me, March has just zipped by. Here we are at the end of it already and all the usual signs of 'the open season' are everywhere. Spring is here and Greece's big Easter celebrations are just around the corner.

This morning there was a public meeting for businesses on the island, to get informed about the tax laws, despite that they seem to be changing daily. If I wasn't confused enough before, I sure am now. Best we just gather up everything and give it to TROIKA. They'll get it all eventually anyway. We have the usual laws of how much we have to pay, but also strict conditions of how we are paid. Let's just say we get to prop up the banks some more. There are ceilings for amounts that can be received in cash, quite a low ceiling too, watch your head, you WILL bump it. So the main thing is we all pay 26% tax from zero and of course the usual 23% VAT tax. Now if Ithaca was an island in the Aegean, then our VAT would only be 16% because islands get a reduction due to difficulties. Ithaca however, legally is not an island, thus we don't get the reduction. Apparently we have never been registered as an island and it appears that it's not an easy thing to do now. Go figure! Also if we were a community with under 3000 full time inhabitants, then we would also have some extras and deductions. We are apparently 27 inhabitants over the 3000 limit, which all of Ithaca knows to be untrue, as we are actually under the 3000 limit, but it serves the government and the EU to include a few roadside boulders in the count to get, not only the blood from of the stone, but the stone itself.

Ithacan businesses, and not only, because these changes will effect tourism and the man on the street, will be dancing to the tune of confusion for quite some time and the bitter truth that Greece's economy is a good reason to bleed a country dry.
















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