Scarce Jobs, Slashed Salaries, and Schools Without Books: The Ugly Consequences of Austerity in AthensSaturday 06 October 2012
‘In Athens, the beginning of autumn coincides with the return of an all too familiar scene: inside Parliament, politicians are quarrelling over details of the austerity requested of them by the Troika; outside, protesters are shouting their anger at what they see as unfair, unsuccessful and unsustainable policies.
Nikos Charalampopoulos, an Athenian teacher and trained political scientist in his early thirties, normally would be looking forward to the birth of his son, due any day now. Instead he worries about the uncertain future. He sees his countrymen isolated and abandoned, as they come back from the summer: “The kids are back in schools that lack basic necessary books; they will be taught by teachers whose salaries have been slashed.
University students know that they have to work hard for a diploma, which still won’t find them a job. And the only answer the government can come up with is to cut even more, to deploy even more layoffs, to break up strikes and round up immigrants.”’