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Economy

Compliant, But Rattled: Greeks Fear Losing Jobs, Poverty Over COVID-19

ATHENS –  Greeks who set aside their notorious propensity for defying laws they don't like and mostly stayed home during a COVID-19 Coronavirus lockdown now are anxious the pandemic's aftermath could leave them without work or in poverty.

Those were among the findings of of a survey by the University of Aegean conducted by  professors Sotiris Chtouris and Anastasia Zisi from April 6-22 with data collected from the online SurveyBot platform, 

Some 56.4% of respondents were worried about joblessness and becoming impoverished as it's uncertain if all the businesses required to shut down the lockdown will be able to resume as before.

Another 26.7% said health fears were a big worry while only 4.8% were worried that they may lose someone close to them to the disease said Kathimerini in a report on the survey's findings.

What people missed most as they were mostly locked at home except for critical missions was their friends, with 6.35 percent saying they wanted contact, while the results were 60 percent for missing cultural events, 59 percent for shopping and entertainment and 53 percent for socializing, with restaurants, bars and taverns shut.

Asked how the pandemic might change their lives, 66.5 percent said they would pay more attention to their personal life and well-being, 63 percent wanted to develop better skills in dealing with their everyday lives and 55% with their work.

Another 60 percent said they would do volunteer work, 58.4% in artistic and other cultural pursuits, while 47 percent said they plan to invest in improving their family relations and 34% in starting a new business.

“Coming after the social experience of the recent economic crisis, which harmed young people in particular, the pandemic has ended the prospect of migration to job markets looking for specialized personnel, but also the possibility of seasonal work in the sector of tourism, which was a significant outlet and opportunity during the 10-year crisis,” noted Chtouris.

“The publicity given to the health issues overshadowed aspects of reality that we need to be aware of in order to acquire real opportunities and plans that will get us out of the crisis. Greece did very well in protecting society from the coronavirus, but it also needs to do well in regrouping society after its return to life,” he added.

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