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Never Say Never in Greece

Updated on November 19, 2012

If Taylor Swift sings, "never Say never" in her latest hit song, it will certainly echo true with millions of unemployed, underemployed workers in Greece, America, Spain and many other countries. But for some, no many, being unemployed for two years was something even they never could happen to them.

The hardest hit groups are always the low end jobs, but many professional and semi-professional careers in Greece have fallen victim also. Some have never been unemployed for longer then a few months or never and now are hitting bottom after two years of no work, exhausting their savings, retirement, and whatever else. After five years of recession in Greece, 25% are unemployed. Many families that worked their way from poor to middle class or from middle class to upper middle class, now are back where they once started. Many are forced to live with parents or grandparents and live off their pension. Many are doing jobs that they thought were beneath them or would never do-never say never! Many Greeks who use to make $50,000 a year, which is a very nice income there, are now harvesting fruit, farming and living in bare conditions. Once well paid Greeks now earn 800 euros a month pumping gas but have expenses higher than that due to increased taxes. For these people, buying meat is a luxury, even milk is an issue. In Athens, unemployment is near 60%, many skilled tradesmen are scrounging for any work, even milking cows on farms. Most of these people are under 30 yrs. old and never thought they would only be earning 300 euros a month selling farm animals. Like many Greeks, families have had to downsize and get rid of items for money and to reduce costs until, as a last resort, they move in family. Leaving a home that you have lived in for 15 years is made worse because you never thought that would happen to YOU, others, yes, but not you- never say never. Now families might live in a 600 sq. ft. area, that is a far cry from a 1600 sq. ft. Many Greeks try to keep daily expenses below 5 euros.

What is happening in Greece and other European countries is happening in the USA and one should never say never, because it could.


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