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How expats experience “three years Greece in the crisis” (Part VIII)

The issue of negative stereotypes towards Greeks in the crisis and the lack of understanding from the side of people living abroad are been featured here in the story I received a couple of days ago. And I would say “yes”, it’s difficult to understand how the system works here if you live far away and thus in a country where the state provides welfare and other benefits to the underprivileged.

Below the story submitted by Tina:

“I lived in Greece, Rhodes, for  the past 8 years. Moved down, to get away from life in Denmark. Been coming here on holiday since I was a kid and always loved it.
What I have seen here, over the past 3 years, is actually difficult to describe. I have had several discussions with people from Denmark about it all. How many times I’ve heard “isn’t it just because the Greeks a lazy?”. The first many times, I would try to explain. Explain what life for the working people here are REALLY like, try to explain how the system “works” and so on. But its impossible. I believe you have to have lived here, to really understand. Ive given up! Now I just say to people “Move down, try to find a job for 1 season, survive the winter with nothing. If you manage to do so, then we talk!”.
At the same time, when we talk about the problems here, I often find myself in a limbo. Because a lot of cheating have been going on over the years. We all know about it. But then again, was it even possible from time to time NOT to cheat? Not to pay money under the table ect? I even done it. Needed papers from a doctor here, for Denmark, and it was very important for my whole financial situation ect. But the doctor refused. And I had to give him money. Money to do a job, which IS his job in the first place.
Or who haven’t tried being at the tax office? Running around like a headless chicken, desperate to be allowed to fill your tax-form. You have to do that, even though you have a pension from another EU country. I tried for 7 years! First last year, with the help of a woman working in the tax office, it was done! I could have ended up with penalties for each of the 7 years I didn’t do it!
Reading the news from here in several foreign media, it just makes your blood boil. Foreign people, who highly been to Greece on holiday, letting their brainfluid run. Laughing about Greeks protesting, because they are going to have their pensions cut down to half, protesting about loosing their jobs ect. Laughing? Would a Danish person not protest, if they all of the sudden will lose 50% of their pension? There is a crisis in Denmark too. But luckily for Denmark, the reason for the crisis up there, according to several brains, its sick people who are on pensions and unemployed. NOT bad managements from banks and politicians. So I guess they will be doing fine. Since its always easier to hunt the weakest instead of the big fishes.
I am not blind. I know there are problems here. With everything. But what we see are not changes for the better. Only it is getting worse and worse. People are left without any hope for the future and people with no hope, they become dangerous. That’s a fact which we seen over and over again in this worlds history. Unfortunately humans rarely learn from it!
To people abroad, knowing nothing about whats going on here. How would you prefer to pay your tax, when you are unemployed, receive no money from the state? How would you like to feed your family, pay your bills? HOW? Do you believe this is going to help a country out of a crisis?”
More expat stories submitted to KTG  here
KTG needs two more stories to make a nice file of ten. Please, try to keep your text at 300 words.

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2 comments

  1. I belive most people know where most of the problems started, and it is not with people in general, who has to pay their taxes no matter what. When big statecompanies do not pay taxes, like anyone who owns a taverna or shop, a doctor or a taxidriver who are selfemployd, we are talking of billions of euros not benefitting people in general. And do you know how many have sent hugh amounts out of the country??? The government, municipals are rotten from the ground, and until anyone are trustworthy enough to take a hold of this, it will never change. I will never travel as a tourist in Greece ever again, most of all because I see how animals are treated, so I prefer to use my money saving a life, treated like garbage. And to see your own country going down like that, how many have a backbone to try and change that. Just like all the greek men and women faught to save their country under the second worldwar, for those I bow my head in respect, I do not feel the same respect for what is happening now…

  2. Quote: “I will never travel as a tourist in Greece ever again, most of all because I see how animals are treated”

    The way animals are treated in Greece is no reason not to travel to Greece. Since then you better stay home: they eat dogs in China, how do they treat dogs e.g. in Spain. And let’s go back to your own country, how do they treat animals there? I always get a bit sick of those reasons. I’m Dutch and if I see how many dogs or cats are being left behind on a tree because a family has to for holidays, and how often I read in the papers that maltreated horses are being found, plenty of stories to tell about whatever animals. It’s nothing better in Northern Europe than here in Greece.

    We holiday in Greece to help at least some people live a little better life in this crisis