Monday, February 6, 2012

The fate of retired professors in Greece has an article about the impact of the Euro crisis on the daily life of people in Greece. A student interviewed 10 people and wrote a paragraph about each of them. One is a recently retired university professor.

Nikos, 65 ans, professeur d'université à la retraite
Retraité depuis août, Nikos n'a reçu aucune pension au début du mois de janvier. Il dit qu'il pourra peut-être recevoir une retraite dans six mois – et encore : « D'un mois sur l'autre, nous ne dépensons que l'essentiel car nous ne savons pas si on nous donnera le mois prochain une retraite. Nous qui appartenions à la classe moyenne riche, ma femme étant professeur à la retraite, nous devenons pauvres. Avant, nous partions en vacances chaque Pâques, chaque Noël : en Norvège, en Egypte. Aujourd'hui, cela est impossible ; nous n'achetons que ce qui est nécessaire : plus de vêtements, plus de voyages. Que de la nourriture. [...]

Nikos, 65, retired university professor
Having retired this past August, Nikos received no pension at the beginning of January this year. He says he may be able to receive a pension in six months - but: "From month to month, we do not spend that much because we do not know if we will receive our pension next month. We, who belonged to the wealthy middle class - my wife is a retired professor - we are becoming poor. Before, we left on vacation every Easter, every Christmas, to go to Norway or Egypt. Today that is impossible; we buy only what is needed: no more clothes, no more trips. Only food."

In the midst of a great depression, it may seem ironical to sympathize with people whose biggest problem is that they can no longer travel for vacation, but this is a retired professor: in other words, one of our colleagues, so it hits close to home. Barring a war, it is hard to imagine that a day might come when financial problems would cause me to go hungry, but who knows what the future has in store?


  1. Let the Hunger Games begin ...

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