Nikos Sklavos had a dream: to become a commander in the Greek merchant navy.
He completed six years of studies more than two years ago. But by that time there were no more jobs.
Greece had become the poster child of the eurozone debt crisis and spending cuts and a public sector hiring freeze had started to bite. The country could no longer afford commanders earning 5,000 euros a month.
Nikos now plans to leave Greece. “I’ve been unemployed for two years. I don’t know if I can stay here hoping to find work, in this same situation. I’m looking in my field, but others too. In the end, I’ll go abroad,” he told euronews.
Nikos plans to vote for one for the smaller parties in Sunday’s election. “I’ve not seen any change over the years. Both mainstream parties are the same, they just swallow public money,” he said.
Labrous Andreou disagrees. He wants a coalition between the Socialists and Democrats. His three business have all gone bust over the past four years.
“I’m young and a European by conviction. I think the parties led by (Evangelos) Venizelos and (Antoni) Samaras will get this country out of this mess,” said the 47-year-old.
“At the same time, I’m wary of them but with Europe’s help, we will lay the foundations for a better future. I’m optimistic. When money comes back into the market, when banks lend money to businesses, when there is more liquidity, everything will sort itself out.”
Our reporter Laura Davidescu says that 80 percent of Greeks blame the two big parties for the country’s economic woes and they are the only ones backing the EU-IMF bailout.
At the same time, three out of four Greeks want to stay in the euro zone. What choice will they make as they face at least another ten years of austerity measures?