Thursday, 17 January 2013

Judgement day ...

Many long faces here on the island at the moment, as seasonal staff make their way to the town hall, to enquire about their unemployment benefits.

This year the rules have been tightened, and many staff who work seasonally are being informed, that they will not be getting any unemployment benefits payments.

No Money - No Honey

The wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly here, Finish work in September or October, lodge unemployment claims within one month, with the OAED (Unemployment benefits office at the town hall - often wrongly confused with IKA) Then nearly three months later, you get a letter saying claim denied. For many this means, another four and a half months until gainful employment resumes.

Rents still have to be paid, bills too, and money to warm cold concrete apartments. Only today I have seen two cafes, that have dispensed with expensive electric (Prices up 11%) heating for old fashioned, and in one case - antique wood burners.

This loss of unemployment benefits, could have a knock on effect, as landlords, not always progressive at lowering rents - thus leading to the seasonal merry-go-round, Now find that they are not going to get paid either. Or that the tenant departs quickly for lands further north, via the ferry when the landlord is out at the ouzeria or visiting friends on the mainland.

Greece is tightening up the rules, what was taken for granted is now paid for by the EU, and overseen by the Troika. The writing is very clearly on the wall, there will be much tougher times to come ...

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