On a nearly daily basis I receive messages and e-mails from friends, ex colleagues and people who know that I am blogging about the youth unemployment in Greece.
“You have to be our voice”, a 28- year- old girl told me when I wavered over whether to write about these issues regularly. Because some of the human stories I receive are extreme, I am afraid that readers may believe they are fake. On the other hand, I want to spread to the world what is happening in Greece, and how this country overwhelms the new generation day by day.
Jenny, the -28 year- old girl, was fired in October 2016 and since then she has been living on the unemployment allowance of 360 euros per month. It is the basic unemployment benefit that is given for one year. If the year passes and the person is still unemployed, he/she will receive an even lower rate of 200 euros monthly.
During that year, Jenny was seeking for all types of jobs ,even those that had nothing to do with her respective field and her studies. As she told me this phase of her life is the worst ever as so far she was offered jobs with no insurance or humiliating salaries. Jenny has studied Mass Media at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and has worked for several radio stations and websites in Athens but now she’s willing to tolerate jobs that she genuinely hates.
“ I feel worthless and alienated, I need a job, any job, not only for money but also to feel productive. I’m almost sure that i would never reap what I had sown”, she wrote to me among others on a long facebook message.
But until she finds a decent job with insurance and at least the basic salary, she has to survive on 200 euros per month (!)
Yes, you read it right. The Greek state gives without shame 200 euros per month to an unemployed person disregarding how he /she will survive. It’s undoubtedly a status quo that pushes citizens to under- the -table jobs in order to make end meet.
I have written it many times that you have to be armed with fortitude and endurance in order to live in Greece of economic crisis, especially if you are a young person. You would rarely be able to develop your skills and chart your own path even if you have worked really hard. Jenny is just an example of thousands of youngs out there who are struggling to conquer a job with low earnings that will only be enough to pay bills.
Welcome to Greece!