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Jobless Diary: “Unemployed Employee” in competitive Greece, where salary not enough to cover basic expenses

While since one week the media focus on only one topic, this of the extreme-right, there are still the problems that plague the Greek society. The problems of austerity, of unemployment, of no access to health care and of not enough money to cover even basic needs. Yes, by Troika’s orders  Greece became ‘competitive’ by lowering wages to levels that cannot supply somebody even with enough food to come through the month.

Below a personal story uploaded by a 32-year-old woman in the platoform “A Jobless’ Diary” (Το Ημερολόγιο ενός Ανέργου)

Unemployed employee

And yes , I have been unemployed for several months and tried several day jobs to support myself . A little bit the rent, a little bit my boldness to want to have a meal on a daily basis, a little bit the bills,  I reached the tragic point: seizure of my car, living without electricity for five months, bath in cold water and “cooking” in camping gas,  a breakdown of my health -mainly due to nonexistent nutrition – , sale out of my gold jewelry for a piece of bread (the bad nutrition I was talking about).

Today  I am writing to you being employed with the juicy salary of 586 euro gross*. Eight hours per day but in two shifts. At a company one and a half hour distance from my home. Multiply by four…

With a professional college degree  and three foreign languages ​​in the pocket.

Of course, I work at a call centre and I say “Thank God!”.

I managed to reduce the outstanding rents, to pay some utility bills and to finally sleep several nights without crying.

However I wonder: when I receive my salary and subtract my duties and necessary transport expenses, I am left with 30-50 euro for food and “living”… I wonder, how will I be able to live?

How will I be able to dream? How will I be able to simply stop existing? Who will give me back my smile? Who will take away the black covering me?

Unemployed employee, 32 years old

The story was uploaded on 18. September 2013

A Jobless’ Dairy is an online platform that gives the opportunity to jobless Greeks to raise their voice and write down and publish their painful experience with unemployment. KTG reported on the platform here.

*587 euro gross per month translates into some 480-490 euro net. Minimum wage dropped from 780EUR down to 586EUR in February 2012 after the Troika (IMF, EU, ECB) demanded that Greece becomes “competitive”.

PS Yes, I hardly heard of any rent below 200 euro per month, utilities excluded, of course.

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