Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

All things will pass: Greece will recover

By Fotis Kapetopoulos - posted Thursday, 9 September 2010

"Greece is at the crossroads, it either sinks or swims," says Panayiotis, the taxi driver who is pushing well over 100km-per-hour on the highway from the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport to the centre of Athens.

"Things are bad, I am down 50 per cent in income from last year. I can't remember a period which has been as bad for us," he bemoans.

Panayiotis is a young father and, like all the Greeks I speak to, is a confident English speaker.


"The previous government and many of its rich friends destroyed Greece. They stole billions, not millions, billions of euro!" he proclaims.

This is my first visit to Athens since 2001, a time when the economy was humming along and The Economist declared Greece to be a Prometheus unbound.

It is hard to think of crisis as the azure sky and the Mediterranean sun greet my son, my wife and I, as we head towards Athens.

Later, the young man in his early 20s who served me my souvlakia at Kavouras souvlaki grill in the inner city suburb of Exarhia asked where I'm from.

His response to my being from Down Under is simple and direct: "Australia … an economic paradise."

"I want to get out of here. I am finishing an IT degree and there are no jobs. I'm not going to waste away in a souvlaki joint," he adds.


I downplay Australia's economic resilience and suggest he should not migrate because Greece needs him.

It's hard to know whether this pessimism is founded on the reality of the recession, or Greek fatalism - I suspect a mix of both.

Two young women, Mary and Nike run a Vodafone shop, in the scenic suburb of Thesion. They believe the psychological impact of the recession is more real. Business is slow," says Mary, "but the whole of Europe is going through a crisis".

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Fotis Kapetopoulos heads Kape Communications Pty Ltd a cultural communications consultancy. He was Multicultural Media Adviser to Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and former editor of Neos Kosmos English Edition. He lectures in communication and marketing at various academic institutions and will be undertaking a PhD at the University of Canberra.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Fotis Kapetopoulos

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy