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

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 🙂

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4 comments

  1. I’m too scared to tell my story as I’m so depressed and it may come out ‘bitter and full of hatred’

    • @asemenia, you are much better off letting the bitterness and anger out. Keep it in and it will grow and fester until the moment comes that you can’t keep it in any longer. It’s a pressure cooker without the safety valve. Take care!

  2. My wife and I have lived on our Greek Island for 6 years. We holidayed here for many years previous. The people are fantastic. We were accepted in our little village as if long lost friends come in from the cold. I am torn between the rich powerful rip off politicians and the people for not realising that one day failing to pay tax will catch up and bite you.Both situations aggravate me.But when you analyse as a whole I see that just about every government is corrupt no matter where in the world. So I then see it as a fight to screw the rich and powerful who are corrupt on the back of ordinary people. They get richer while people starve and commit suicide.They have no conscience, are they psychopaths? They must be.
    You have to ask – why do big companies not invest in Greece? Why can I not have access to staring a business thus employing people in Greece as I could in UK ? Its because the politicians make it impossible – paperwork – unnecessary, meaningless drivel – so why should anybody invest in Greece? Its as if they dont want to be a great country again economically. The people are great, hard working, intelligent with aptitude for anything.
    I have a pension. I spend all of it in Greek shops and Tavernas etc but I see around me people struggling and I am not the person I want to be. Do they think I am extravagant,lazy,arrogant because I do not work and came to Greece to retire ?
    Where are the men and women with the leadership and integrity of Martin Luther King – JFK – there must be someone out there who will pick up the gauntlet and get the people behind them and ditch all the corrupt slimy scum who are ruining Greece.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      great leaders have been overrun by the train and every past, current & future leader get infected by the Greek virus: corruption. so no chance here.