I’ve been reading about the economic crisis in Greece for several years now, following the general strikes, talking and debating at length with other politicos about strategies to challenge the Troika, and cheering the gains of SYRIZA. Despite reading that 50% of young people under 30 are unemployed and taxes are skyrocketing, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived.
On Corfu, the effects of the crisis are discussed openly but aren’t really apparent. The island’s economy is so tourism based that shops stay open, museums are operating and generally people are employed.
Traveling inland that changes. Storefront after storefront was closed and empty. The ones that are open mostly stock non-perishables (except, obviously, the larger grocery stores). When Melanie and I were researching travel routes we discovered that all international train travel out of Greece ended in 2011.
We stayed at a newer hostel for our overnight trip to Medeora. The hostel owner is a mechanical engineer who opened the hostel after being out of work for too long. His brother, a civil engineer, owns a hostel about two hours away as he is having trouble finding work too.
In Athens I’m staying with two DEA members and have an invitation to check out their office. I’m super pumped to meet with activists and organizers standing up to the insane response to the manufactured crisis.