We were hoping to go to Greece in June for about 4-5 weeks with our 11 year old twins. However, with the current political/fiscal crisis and unemployment of about 25% are not certain about the stability of the region. National elections will be the end of this month and there is a potential that they could exit the Euro if all the chips fall the wrong way. Any thoughts?
Euro or drachma. Not a big deal for us tourists. Tourists will benefit with lower prices. Not so Greeks. They will have to tighten their belts. So far Germany kept them floating so they could afford generous pension and early retirement.
I don't think this is comapring apples to oranges, but maybe it's Spanish olives to Greek olives . . . but we were in Spain 14 months ago, and there were reports of high unemployment there. As tourists, we found places in Madrid, Barcelona, and smaller cities and towns open and staffed, and people were friendly and helpful.
A garbage strike in Madrid made things a little less pleasant, with trash piling up and dog clean-up bags littering sidewalks, but there was no violence or obvious mass unrest. Hope you can go and all will be well for everyone.
We have been going to Greece every year since 2010 which was one of the worst for their economy, protests, demonstrations, etc. However, not once were we affected by those issues. The only concern is a strike that would stop public transportation. We didn't get pick-pocketed, scammed, ripped off, or harassed and in fact most Greeks treated us kindly and with respect. Greeks are protesting against their government not tourists. Do your homework & research and don't let media frenzy with all its over-the-top sensationalism worry you. Use common sense like anywhere you go and you'll have a great time. In fact we are booked for another trip to Greece (Athens and an island) for Oct., 2015. I can't wait!
These rumours of financial collapse and exit from the Euro have been going on for awhile, and so far nothing has changed. I wouldn't be concerned about travelling in June, as even if they do decide to ditch the Euro, that's going to take at least several months to arrange. I don't see the 25% unemployment rate as a hindrance to travel. By going there, tourists are helping to keep people working.
You could always wait until you see the election results before deciding whether or not to travel.
I echo what tommyk5 said...we were there during one of the periods where the media was really focused on rioting, etc in Athens and we had no problem. We took middle school kids the next year and had no problems. We are taking middle school kids again this year and are utterly unconcerned. I wouldn't hesitate to go!
I don't believe the current situation is really new and know that it won't stop us from traveling or leading tours in Greece this year. See Rick's article on this topic. Most protest demonstrations take place in a central square in Athens, for better media coverage, not in the small towns and islands where you'll spend most of your time.
Keeping your plan flexible is usually good advice in Greece, although I assume you'll rent a car for ease and flexibility of mainland travel (outside of Athens), rather than relying on the bus system. Ferries are operated by private companies; no direct government connection.