11 April 2010

"Load of gibberish"

Note the quotes, guys. Not my words this time, although I'm always on the look out to wheel that sort of thing out.

Athens News Letters page, 9 April issue, Corfu's own feisty 'Disgusted of Tebloni Wells', Brian P. Vallance - except that I read somewhere that feisty has connotations of 'farty dog' so I obviously don't mean that. Obviously.

Anyway, splendid letter commenting on

"WHAT a load of gibberish you have published from irate English expats in Kefalonia on the subject of illegal foreign registered cars.

Under European and Greek law, a foreign- (British) registered car can only be used on Greek roads for a maximum of six months. After that period it must be taken out of Greece (or into quarantine) for a further period of 12 months before it can be used again in Greece. Any police officer worth his salt can spot and deal with the usual dodge of keeping an old ferry ticket in the car.

Greek insurance companies are, naturally, forbidden from insuring foreign cars. It is almost impossible (read that to mean astronomically expensive) to insure a British car kept in Greece, whose registered keeper has a Greek address. Just having a British mailing address is not good enough. Drivers/keepers of British cars living in Greece may possibly possess an insurance document for the car, showing a false British address, but this is worthless as it has been obtained by a false statement.

Consequently, the vast majority of British cars used on Corfu and Kefalonia over the winter is illegal and are not insured. Everybody knows that the tax police conduct checks for these cars every April at well known locations, make the whole procedure rather pointless.

The Greek government may do well to consider the amount of tax losses incurred by these parasites without adequate enforcement, but my main concern is their lack of insurance (and testing).

Brian P Vallance
Lefkimi, Corfu"

Check it out. BPV is always good value and I make sure to have my e-tracer constantly scanning for his name.

Speaking of 'expats', I'm so glad to have been sent for review Jim Potts' hypnotic cultural history of The Ionian Islands and Epirus

Every time I now hear the word 'expat', I think of Jim's 'telling words' from Robert Dessaix's Corfu, put into the mouth of a woman supposedly based on Fanny Lewis - widow of Cecil, about whom I assure you nothing will ever appear in these gossip-free pages.

We love to dig dirt but not that mucky.

Anyway, this 'Celia' has a lovely line that I keep using in the posher salons,

"I'm not an ex-patriate, you know.

I'm an Englishwoman living in Corfu. There's a huge difference."

There is, indeed, and when Potts turns his attention to this, he nails the ghetto with the precision and gentleness of a loving lepidopterist.

I'm keeping my powder dry for my Island write-up but Jim's already got a deservedly humdinger of a notice in Athens News so he doesn't really need me.

Available at PLOUS Bookshop, Nik. Theotoki Street. Hurry hurry.

Also in Athens News, reportage of the holiday traffic death toll.

How do they happen?

You will never believe what the traffic police have deduced: the majority of fatal road collisions were caused by - wait for it:

  • Driver negligence
  • Excessive speed
  • Violating right of way
  • Driving in the opposite lane

    Who would ever have guessed. Crazy ol' Greece to buck the trend and come up with its own novel ways of committing highway mayhem.

    But I do have to comment on the last point about driving in the opposite lane.

    When I arrived in Corfu four years ago, I hooted with laughter at the satirical advice that, "When proceeding down a 1-way road, be sure to leave space for traffic coming in the opposite direction."

    Today at the same advice I would simply look baffled at the obvious being spelled out.

  • 1 comment :

    Corfu Bluesman said...

    Pity about the b/w photos, I agree. Was very disappointed, as the originals were colourful and bright.
    At least the book's arrived!