Dreaming of Greece

Akademikern Magazine


In May 2012, nearly every second person in Greece under 25 and every fourth person over 25 is unemployed. The financial crisis affects the whole society. How do young people handle being forced into a crisis that so largely affects their lives. What happens with their plans and dreams? 

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DRÖMMEN OM GREKLAND


I maj år 2012 är enligt grekiska statistikbyrån, nära hälften av alla under 25 och nästan var fjärde vuxen i Grekland arbetslös. Den ekonomiska krisen påverkar hela samhället och de unga har tvingats in i en kris som de inte hade varit med och skapat. Jag undrade hur det är att stå i startgroparna till ett självständigt liv när förutsättningarna har förändrats så markant. Vad händer med dina drömmar och planer? Sju unga greker berättar om hur de hanterar situationen i sitt land. Reportaget publicerades i tidningen Akademikern.

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DRÖMMEN OM GREKLAND


I maj år 2012 är enligt grekiska statistikbyrån, nära hälften av alla under 25 och nästan var fjärde vuxen i Grekland arbetslös. Den ekonomiska krisen påverkar hela samhället och de unga har tvingats in i en kris som de inte hade varit med och skapat. Jag undrade hur det är att stå i startgroparna till ett självständigt liv när förutsättningarna har förändrats så markant. Vad händer med dina drömmar och planer? Sju unga greker berättar om hur de hanterar situationen i sitt land. Reportaget publicerades i tidningen Akademikern.

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Nikos Philippidis, 25 years, unemployed Software Engineer:

”I used to dream, not anymore. All I want is to find a job and to be able to start my life. But there is nothing for me in Greece now, the situation is depressing. Like several of my friends, I plan to move to Canada. Many have moved, it's a braindrain. Greece would need it’s young and well educated, it can’t afford to lose us.”

Nikos graduated in 2008 och was able to work for 18 months before he had to do military service. After that, the crisis was already a fact, Nikos lost his job and has been unemployed since.

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Nikos Philippidis, 25 years, unemployed Software Engineer:

”I used to dream, not anymore. All I want is to find a job and to be able to start my life. But there is nothing for me in Greece now, the situation is depressing. Like several of my friends, I plan to move to Canada. Many have moved, it's a braindrain. Greece would need it’s young and well educated, it can’t afford to lose us.”

Nikos graduated in 2008 och was able to work for 18 months before he had to do military service. After that, the crisis was already a fact, Nikos lost his job and has been unemployed since.

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Natalia-Anna Vasileka, 27 years, owner of a theatre school:

"I struggle with all the new and always increasing taxes and fees I have to pay and with the fact that people lack money to buy lessons. It’s not fair to say that Greeks don’t pay taxes, we do. Several of my friends are unemployed and on their way to leave Greece. They don't want to move but have no choice. Some of them are already in Sweden, France, Slovakia and, Canada."

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Natalia-Anna Vasileka, 27 years, owner of a theatre school:

"I struggle with all the new and always increasing taxes and fees I have to pay and with the fact that people lack money to buy lessons. It’s not fair to say that Greeks don’t pay taxes, we do. Several of my friends are unemployed and on their way to leave Greece. They don't want to move but have no choice. Some of them are already in Sweden, France, Slovakia and, Canada."

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Kostas Kaisidis, 26 years:

”I studied Greek literature at the university for four years, my dream was to work as a teacher. That’s impossible now. Nobody is hiring and the lucky ones who still have a job won’t quit. Now I’m helping my dad with his extra work in this garden. He works as a bus driver too, my mother is a housewife. I live with them. They give me some money, but it’s not easy to accept. They also have less money than before and I want to be independent. I know many who have moved abroad, to Germany and Australia to look for work. I have also thought about moving, but it would be difficult to leave my parents and friends. My whole life is here. I do hope life in Greece will be better in the future. I only want to go on with my life, my plans.”

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Kostas Kaisidis, 26 years:

”I studied Greek literature at the university for four years, my dream was to work as a teacher. That’s impossible now. Nobody is hiring and the lucky ones who still have a job won’t quit. Now I’m helping my dad with his extra work in this garden. He works as a bus driver too, my mother is a housewife. I live with them. They give me some money, but it’s not easy to accept. They also have less money than before and I want to be independent. I know many who have moved abroad, to Germany and Australia to look for work. I have also thought about moving, but it would be difficult to leave my parents and friends. My whole life is here. I do hope life in Greece will be better in the future. I only want to go on with my life, my plans.”

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Aspacia Malaki, 23 years, newly graduated accounter:

”This crisis makes our hearts and minds dark. We can think of nothing but the money we lack. Sometimes I think that the crisis has become a ghost in our brains, yes the crisis exists, but as long as we, hopefully, have money for food and rent that should be enough. We must learn to consume less. We can produce much of what we need here in Greece. I think that what lead us here is that many at all levels in society have exploited the system of EU contributions.”

”I can’t find work as an accounter now so I try to make money out of selling necklaces and earrings that I have made myself. They are very cheap so people can buy. But I dream of working as an accounter in a team in a company. In the future, I would like to live in a small town close to the sea, have a home of my own, a family and a job. In some way it will come true, I just don’t know how now.”

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Aspacia Malaki, 23 years, newly graduated accounter:

”This crisis makes our hearts and minds dark. We can think of nothing but the money we lack. Sometimes I think that the crisis has become a ghost in our brains, yes the crisis exists, but as long as we, hopefully, have money for food and rent that should be enough. We must learn to consume less. We can produce much of what we need here in Greece. I think that what lead us here is that many at all levels in society have exploited the system of EU contributions.”

”I can’t find work as an accounter now so I try to make money out of selling necklaces and earrings that I have made myself. They are very cheap so people can buy. But I dream of working as an accounter in a team in a company. In the future, I would like to live in a small town close to the sea, have a home of my own, a family and a job. In some way it will come true, I just don’t know how now.”

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Rafaella Simeonidis, 22 years:

”I studied marketing at the University of Thessaloniki, and after I graduated there was no work to find. Now I have an internship in a bank in Kavala, I don’t get paid. I live with my parents again, can’t afford a home of my own. I would like to move to England and continue studying but I can’t afford that either. My dad is retired, my mother is a housewife. Before the crisis dad would have gotten about 80 percent of his previous salary, now he gets 50.”

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Rafaella Simeonidis, 22 years:

”I studied marketing at the University of Thessaloniki, and after I graduated there was no work to find. Now I have an internship in a bank in Kavala, I don’t get paid. I live with my parents again, can’t afford a home of my own. I would like to move to England and continue studying but I can’t afford that either. My dad is retired, my mother is a housewife. Before the crisis dad would have gotten about 80 percent of his previous salary, now he gets 50.”

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Christos Dinakis, 23 years:

”My family and I have done a huge investment. Despite the bad times we are going to open a kiosk, a peritero. When grandmother died we sold her house and put the money into this. It’s a big risk, but I have to believe it will work. I have chosen the place carefully, it’s at a crossroads where lots of people move. The situation is tough for everyone now. We buy only what is necessary, food and a little gas. But my family and I think we will be better off thanks to the kiosk. I’m going to be here day and night and fight until it works financially.”

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Christos Dinakis, 23 years:

”My family and I have done a huge investment. Despite the bad times we are going to open a kiosk, a peritero. When grandmother died we sold her house and put the money into this. It’s a big risk, but I have to believe it will work. I have chosen the place carefully, it’s at a crossroads where lots of people move. The situation is tough for everyone now. We buy only what is necessary, food and a little gas. But my family and I think we will be better off thanks to the kiosk. I’m going to be here day and night and fight until it works financially.”

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Liana Papageorgiou 29 years, teacher:

”I realize how lucky I am to have a job, and even luckier a job that I’ve trained for! I am a teacher in greek, history, and literature in a private school. We give extra lessons for pupils in public schools that need to study more. All the time I see friends getting lower wages and getting fired, my salary has decreased too. And kids stop coming to our school because their families can’t pay. I like to start a family of my own. I would love for my husband and me to be able to become parents. But if I have a child I will lose my job.

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Liana Papageorgiou 29 years, teacher:

”I realize how lucky I am to have a job, and even luckier a job that I’ve trained for! I am a teacher in greek, history, and literature in a private school. We give extra lessons for pupils in public schools that need to study more. All the time I see friends getting lower wages and getting fired, my salary has decreased too. And kids stop coming to our school because their families can’t pay. I like to start a family of my own. I would love for my husband and me to be able to become parents. But if I have a child I will lose my job.

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Kavala 2012
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