Last night out waitress was a sweet trainee speech therapist from the Czech Republic. A couple of days ago we gave a lift to two Hungarian birds who were also spending the summer working as waitresses. In fact this place is crawling with Eastern European birds working in bars and cafes. Yet, in three weeks I have barely encountered any young Greeks working as waitresses outside family run establishments. Youth unemployment here is 65%. Go figure.
I know that the Easter Europeans are working in the black economy and are staying in not great places happy to make a few Euro, enjoy afternoons on the beach and to bunk up with the odd other young person who is passing through. But …
There is something chronically wrong with an economy which sees these folks working while 65% of young Greeks sit on their arses, sipping frappes, living at home, not working but collecting benefits which ( since Greece is bust) come effectively from the taxpayers of Northern Europe.
The solution? Might I suggest that from April to October Greek youngsters under 25 should not be allowed to claim benefits and at the same time any Greek under 25 ( who has been unemployed for three months previously) be allowed to work outside of the tax system ( for both employer and employee). It would save Greece ( i.e. the Northern European taxpayer) a stack of cash, might instil the work ethic in a generation that has otherwise lost it and, frankly, it would be less galling for Northern Europeans as we pay over the odds for our Greek salads from our after tax income.
Will it happen? No chance. This country is bonkers and happy to enjoy the frappe lifestyle at the expense of others.