As Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he has finally gotten the economy on a path to recovery despite more coming austerity measures, one in three Greek families said they are so worn out by pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that they are thinking of leaving the country.
The startling statistic came from a a survey carried out on primary and secondary school pupils by the Children’s Ombudsman. Out of 1,211 pupils from 22 schools around the country who were questioned in the survey, 82 percent said that their parents’ employment situation had worsened in recent months, with one in five reporting that one or both of their parents were jobless and 29 percent saying that the family was considering relocating to another country in the hope of better prospects.
Most of the children questioned said the economic crisis had had a negative impact on their lives, with 70 percent of respondents referring to “negative changes,” 59 percent saying they no longer received pocket money and 33 percent reporting that tighter household budgets meant they had been forced to stop lessons at private tuition centers.
Greece’s unemployment rate is at a record 26.8 percent – some 55 percent for those under 25 – and the government is levying more harsh conditions expected to make it rise as high as 30 percent. Greece has a population of 11.34 million people, according to World Bank statistics, although as many as one million or more are immigrants, not including hundreds of thousands of estimated illegal immigrants.