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Greek Airports (being sold to FRAPORT in Germany) and many new problems

Yes I often think that when Justine and I were doing those Greek trips, roughly 2004-2012, we really had the best times.

Mykonos has gone upmarket. But other islands also cater for specific markets e.g. Zakynthos for the Brit and German booze/vomit/repeat crowd, and Kos is going the same way. There are still plenty of nice places.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

My latest (as usually) bumpy Mykonos approach.

Last Edited by petakas at 13 May 16:47
LGMG Megara, Greece

boscomantico wrote:

Parking is not possible at Mykonos, so for most typical private missions, it unfortunately is to be considered a closed airport (except for emergencies).

I did manage to park there overnight once about 10 years ago. It cots me an outright bribe of about E400. It was one of the only two times in Europe that I have been bribed. Curiously the other was by the refuelers at Cannes. What is about aviation that makes us subject to such coercion?

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

I also parked there, without a bribe, but that was 15 years ago.

Parking has become a big issue in Europe, but not only in Greece, but essentially everwhere on the Med, at least in the summer season. These issues didn’t exist until 15 years ago. The blame is partly with:

  • airline prevalence
  • jet type GA
  • safety rules and general cultural changes
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

It was one of the only two times in Europe that I have been bribed.

I think you mean you had to pay a bribe

LGMK has a reputation for exactly that, though not in the last 10 years or so. It dates back to when parking was merely “difficult”.

Curiously the other was by the refuelers at Cannes. What is about aviation that makes us subject to such coercion?

It is just aviation. It is a closed world, exempt from outside scrutiny. Lots of stuff goes on, starting with “moral corruption” (e.g. an improper relationship between whoever is funding the airport, and its management, and that goes on pretty well everywhere south of roughly 50N) and going all the way to half a dozen airport officials standing in a line and waiting for the USD as you peel them off the bundle (possible pretty much everywhere in the 3rd World, which happens to be most of the earth’s surface area). Also the airport has got you by the balls so they can dictate any terms.

And the Greeks have always loved paperwork and officialdom. All of the 3rd World does. Greeks are the most friendly people I have known in Europe privately but when they get into a corporate structure, everything changes.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Buckerfan wrote:

It cots me an outright bribe of about E400.

This was in the pre-Fraport era when a sole Airport sheriff Manager was managing the parking and, indeed, such numbers where requested cash.
The specific person passed away from cancer few years ago.

LGMG Megara, Greece

Interesting I had heard of that at the time, too.

The problem with accepting bribes is that one day you will ask somebody new to give you a bribe and that person will report you. I’ve seen this in business. I never paid a bribe but was asked for them a number of times, late 1970s onwards (I started in 1978) and extending into the 1980s in industry (bribery died out in the UK in the 1990s in private industry) and then this carried on another 20 years in the public sector (exactly as one would expect, hey, which is why we see this in aviation). Once, I was asked for a bribe, reported the buyer to his company, he was fired, and I still got the order… but you need to be sure of your ground when doing that because if the corruption goes high up, you might get cut off totally.

And remember the present-day UK is one of the most transparent countries in Europe when it comes to dealings both personal and corporate. For all its faults, a lot of people like that about the UK.

So the solution adopted in some places was that the handling agent collects the “bribe” via officially published and inflated prices and pays a slice to the airport manager. This is much safer for the manager. If the handler’s accounts get audited, it may come to light, but frankly in much of Europe nobody will care. The handler will have got the contract in the first place by offering “commission” to the airport manager. If I knew of cases where this probably happened I could not possibly post the details, but it is probably more common than you think and not only because “we” so often wonder why Airport X is so stupid as to damage its business by appointing a handling agent who charges €xxx. The airport manager appointed the handler because he was offered a commission!

I think, in Greece, since bribery is common at every social level starting with seeing a doctor or getting a landline installed, you can draw your own conclusions about some of the handlers…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The departure from my recent Mykonos visit with views of the revamped terminal building and the islands of Delos & Rhenia west of Mykonos.
The sway eastward on the departure is to catch better views of the area with the GoPro on the keft turn.

Last Edited by petakas at 15 May 08:01
LGMG Megara, Greece

Buckerfan wrote:

What is about aviation that makes us subject to such coercion?

The (wrong) impression that all GA people are stinking rich and therefore fair game to be robbed.

Add to that, the fact that your airplane is sitting on that airport and without the consent of those in power may well be considered a “hostage” until you pay up. Clearly, that is formulating it drastically but particularly far away from home and on a schedule, it makes this kind of extortion and soliciting of bribes quite attractive to those who are criminal enough to consider it.

Of course the same goes with extortive use of monopoly we can see just about everywhere.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland
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