The financial crisis, the covid pandemic, soaring inflation… It seems that time after time, fate is testing Greece’s strength in a series of global problems. Will she make it this time?
The Euronews correspondent talked to representatives of different social groups, and this is what he managed to find out.
The heroes of his reportage are young parents, former fishermen, farmers and pensioners. All of them literally do not live, but survive in conditions of inflation, which is already expressed in double digits. Over the past fifteen years, the country has been shaken by crises, and recently literally everything has risen in price, including electricity and energy carriers.
The first interlocutors of the correspondent were young spouses expecting a second child. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the head of the family, Alexander, has recently lost his job and is actively searching. However, out of 180 resumes sent out, none of them have been answered yet. His wife Angelica says:
“Our fridge is always empty. We both don’t work. My biggest fear is being evicted, being on the street with the kids. I don’t even have money for diapers.”
Alexandros is a volunteer at a free lunch distribution point. Costas Polychronopoulos, founder of the social canteen, says:
“A lot of pensioners come here, they bring us their electricity bills and ask us to make at least some contribution so that the electricity does not turn off.”
Manolis arrives for his free bowl of soup. He recently received a recalculation receipt for the winter months, asking him to pay 1400 euros. He says he “almost got a heart attack.” Manolis is very afraid of blackouts and doesn’t know how to proceed…
The situation is no better in other regions of Greece. The economy of Naxos is directly dependent on agriculture and tourism. Due to the rise in price of feed, fuel and raw materials, many local farmers are going bankrupt. Cattleman Stelios Zacharatos says:
“There are four generations of farmers in my family. But the dynasty will end with me.”
The ruthless crisis is turning into an existential threat to the agricultural sector: more than 300 cows and 30,000 goats and sheep have been slaughtered recently. Of the island’s 1,200 farmers, about 150 may close their farms by the end of this year. The only hope, says the president of the local cooperative, Dimitris Kapounis, is for help from Athens or Brussels:
“The cost of pumping water has risen from 7 euros per hour to 30 euros, and fertilizers have risen in price from 300 to 1,000 euros per ton.”
Fishermen have their own problems. Stamatis Sergis says:
“I used to pay 40 cents for marine diesel, but now I pay one and a half euros. I can’t even earn 50 euros a day. So I keep the ship laid up and work in other places. In ten years there will be no fishermen left.”
The Greek government is working tirelessly on various options to support the population. These include limiting rent increases, a subsidy for low-income families, financial support up to 600 euros for those who cannot cope with electricity bills.