Challenging Spain for the worst jobless total in Europe Greek unemployment has hit a record 22.5 percent of the workforce.
That was the figure for April, which was the latest available. Analysts said the country’s economy has worsened since then and unemployment will likely go higher.
Thirty-two year old Filia, an educated jewellery maker, has been out of a job for a year and has a 10-month-old daughter. ‘‘It’s difficult. The parents help, I use my savings that I have put aside,’‘ she said.
Michalis, 34, lost his job in Athens at a supermarket two years ago. He then went to France and found a job there, but was forced to return to Athens for family reasons and has not been able to find a job since his return a few months ago. ‘‘There is always hope. But in Greece you see how things are, you cannot always save, save, save, that is why we want a united Europe, there has to be a social network, why don’t they go chase the people who spent all the money,” he said.
Bianca Tampouri, a translator, cannot find work, and her husband and 18-year-old daughter are also unemployed. “All my family we all have a problem, so yes I am concerned. About the future, our jobs, our lives, our psychology, you know dignity, everything,’‘ she said.
But some Greeks are more optimistic; Nikos Govas, who was unemployed but opened a coffee shop, said: “If you want a job, you’ll find something. The problem here is everyone wants to work in a doctor’s office or as a civil servant. But it’s not like that. A rubbish collector or a CEO, they’re both jobs and bring in a wage.”
There could be some respite from jobs created by the summer tourism season, but even that is not guaranteed as visitors numbers and revenue were down earlier this year.
Strikes and violent anti-government protests have deterred tourists from visiting.
Tourism is a key sector which accounts for about one in five jobs in Greece.