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Road Trip Europe Day 27: The effects of Greece's financial crisis nearly 10 years on

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Alexandros Tsourekas, a cheese factory worker in Metsovo, Greece
Alexandros Tsourekas, a cheese factory worker in Metsovo, Greece -
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Euronews/Joao Marques - Euronews/Joao Marques
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With the EU Parliamentary elections exactly one month away, Euronews is counting down by taking a road trip across the continent to speak to voters about the issues that matter to them. We are visiting towns and villages around Europe – inviting people to talk about what's on their minds, ahead of what is a key vote at a crucial moment for the European Union.

Our correspondents Bryan Carter and Fay Doulgeri have set off on the next leg of their road trip, arriving at the town of Metsovo in Greece.

There they have been asking people if they feel any improvement in their lives since the crisis that hit Greece almost a decade ago.

Anything to wine about?

Alexandros Ionnou is the owner of the local winery, a business which has been passed down three generations in his family.

He grew up in Athens but moved to Metsovo last year to run the business. His winery produces around half a million bottles every year and Ionnou believes the competitive rates in Greece coupled with the local know-how of his employees put his company at an advantage in the EU market.

Even though he does not believe politics can help small businesses like his, he will likely vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May.

“I’m pro-Europe but I also feel mistakes were made from both sides, the IMF and the European Union failed to understand the Greek crisis, and Greek politicians did a really poor job in the implementation of the so-called solution," he said. "I will probably go to vote, but I don’t feel it has a huge impact to what is going to happen.”

The impact of the crisis

We also spoke to a cheese factory worker, Alexandros Tsourekas, who went to university and had dreams of doing a master’s degree or even a PhD.

But he said the economic crisis made him move to find work in Metsovo because the salaries are higher than elsewhere.

"I studied at university but I came here to live because of the crisis," he said. "In other circumstances, I could work in a city or continue my studies. The salaries are really low to be able to live in another place."

Giorgos Tsompikos is the director of the factory.

He’s a staunch EU supporter and thinks the Greek economic crisis which started 10 years ago should serve as a wake-up call for producers.

"All these years the European Union has helped the farmers a lot with the subsidies," he said. "Unfortunately, our country hasn’t used those funds correctly in order for us to develop further.”

The Greek economy relies heavily on small businesses to keep itself afloat. Nearly 10 years on from the financial crisis which led to widespread protests and very nearly broke the country, for many Greeks the prospect of full recovery is still a long road ahead.