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

Economic crisis and decreased income trigger frustration. And a never-ending struggling to make ends meet. Scratching together the last euro to come up for daily expenses, cover basic needs, children’s essentials. Economic crisis spoils the fan of life and leaves you there with an endless longing for the times that are no more.

Below the story submitted by Anne:

“I have been here on this Greek island now for about 20 odd years. I have been employed by two bars every summer & had my IKA paid every season because the bosses HAD to. I have also worked various days, boat cleaning for a bit of cash in hand – again everyone was doing it, basically because the bars had to pay more to IKA than they pay the staff wages! But at least you could claim back some money to keep you fed & housed over the Winter. During the summer months, many Greeks, young & old have two maybe three jobs as many places are seasonal – meaning there is no work during the winter because we have to rely on the tourists.

But lately with all the Greek Crisis news on the TV & in the media, the tourist hotspots have taken a direct hit. Business are closing down. Many restaurants along the sea fronts are now closed because of the huge rentals being asked from the owners. But it’s a no win situation. Some of the properties are so big – many have apartments above them & the owners all have the new property tax to pay & if they don’t have the money, what then?

When I fell pregnant, I had to give up bar work (obviously) & during my second pregnancy 15 months later, we needed to start up a business so we set up a service offering company – Property management and similar – you name it, we were doing it. But now newcomers are coming in and think well, they are doing well for themselves, we’ll give it a go!!

So now my family are faced with yet more struggles as unlike the new ones coming in, they are still only renting a property and therefore don’t have the varying taxes that now have to be paid by people owning a property.

Then there’s the mortgage to pay, the kids now require extra lessons as the school has not done enough with the ‘foreign’ kids, people are charging up to 20 euros AN HOUR for lessons and I bet still this money is not declared to the tax.

I have also opened an English shop here but then the Brits just ended up ordering from online British shops and had everything delivered on the same truck we used. So we had to close it down. But we were still doing the cleaning business!.

We already work our hearts out trying to just to live – we don’t holiday – I haven’t even been out of the country since 2003! But that is how the place where I live is going now. Everyone for themselves – doesn’t matter how you get there or who you upset.

I am pleased I have a very nice range of Greek friends who I am pleased to help out for nothing. The British ex-pat community – I will live without it – many are so nasty now and this is not the Greece I moved to all those years ago when everyone got on, had a laugh, big get togethers, where you didn’t have to check out who was going first because they didn’t like you!!! I want the old Greece back not what we have now!!”

More expat stories published by KTG here

If you want to send your expat experience about Greece in the crisis, you can do it within the limit of 300 words.

PS by 30 stories I will start to use real numbers and not Latin 🙂

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