How does it feel to see the crisis hitting you and your family and you see your life turn upside down in just a couple of years? How does it feel to see your children without job or struggling for what I often call “bag of peanuts”? How does it feel to find yourself in a no way out situation? How does it feel to see no future for your children here in this country? It doesn’t feel good….
Below another expat story submitted by Lesley:
“I’ve lived in Crete with my Greek husband for 26 years and we have two children in their early twenties, born and raised here.
Our daughter finished her philology degree at Athens university last year. After searching for work for 4 months in Athens she was forced to move back home with us in Crete as she found nothing and could not support herself. She currently works in a local shop earning 350 euros per month, no IKA.
Our son went off to Technical college in Heraklion, but fell ill last year and needed urgent treatment in Athens; we could wait a year to get the operation done free with IKA or pay 6,000 euros to go private. We borrowed the money; my husband has been working only intermittently since the crisis and his income has more than halved over the last three years, while my work is only seasonal. We borrowed to get through the last three winters, including borrowing money to pay our extra property tax, solidarity tax and small business tax, and we pay it back over each summer when my work starts.
For a year now my son has been living at home again while recuperating (he goes back to his studies in September). So here we all are, four adults living in a small 2 bedroomed house, which we never envisaged when we bought it five years ago when the ‘children’ both left home to study and make their way in the world.
How can they become independent adults and support themselves on 350 euros per month? How on earth could they get married and start families, if they wanted to?
Three years ago we were all optimistic about their future. Now it seems, they have no future in Greece at all.”
*IKA is the social insurance fund for employees.
More expat stories on Greece in the economic crisis here.
PS I have two more expat stories to publish. If two of you send two more, I could make a nice file of 14 expat stories. No need to be more than 300 words 🙂