One more story on Greece in the crisis seen by the eyes of expats. Submitted by Catherine, a British woman who moved in the country twenty years ago and after two decades struggles to get along.
Below the story submitted by Catherine:
“I came to Greece almost 20 years ago from the UK at the time the UK was going through its own recession and as a young student I felt there was no future never the less it didn’t prepare me for the Greek depression. I working in all kinds of jobs and for long hours, a lot unpaid overtime was never on the cards just expected and getting your entitled insurance and health stamp for that matter.
I meet my partner and live got easier with his support and financial assistances my partner is in the building trade self-employed until about 5 years ago when it all dried up; he has worked for over 30 years and contributed to the system but yet he has not received a penny from the government in terms of benefits now our savings have gone on rent super high electric bills and day to day living for the past 3 years we survived solo on my wages.
This has proven hard as I work seasonal and the money just doesn’t stretch with wage cut and petrol prices rising (a car is a most have as public transport is minimum on Crete no night services) in the winter I am entitled to 360 euros a month for 5 months but I am out of work for 6 or 7 months this money covers my rent.
We genuinely can’t afford food and also bills and rent are now in arrears. Last year to put the icing on the cake I lost my job too and I had major discrepancies on payment and ika. There was no reason given the only conclusion I can come too is the fact I annoyed my boss by asking for payment of money owed from the last season in January.
As a side line I have a small service which has little income. I would like to make it legal but under government terms I would be in debt or bankrupt after the first months I tried to join a government program to start this business but the financial support they will pay after 6 to 12 months. (My husband did the same kind of program and 2 years down the line he waits with little hope to get this money).
I like thousands look for work till then the bills are rising and food is not on the table if things don’t turn around I seriously see us on the streets. So much for contributing for 20 years and 30 years after welcome to Europe’s Greece.”