Thursday Jan 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Crisis leads Filipinos to pull up roots again

By Lina Giannarou

It is 5 p.m. and Linda is on the bus, commuting from her day job, where she takes care of an elderly woman in the northern Athenian suburb of Melissia, to her afternoon job, which is baby-sitting in Neo Psychico. She has worked at this exhausting pace for about a year now, after losing her position as a housekeeper for a Greek couple in Neos Cosmos, southwestern Athens, which she had held for 16 years. The couple were sad to see her go, but the economic crisis meant they could no longer afford her services.

For this Filipino woman, the job market in Greece today is a far cry from the promising one she encountered when she first arrived in the early 1990s.

It took a long time to find work [after she lost her job], and then it was only part-time and with very little money, she told Kathimerini, declining to give her surname.

But I am going back to Manila. My husband and I will work our fields and see what happens.

Linda has already bought the tickets and is ready to head home in early June.

It is estimated that around 15,000 Filipinos live and work in Greece, with another 40,000 employed on Greek-owned ships and yachts.

Over the past few years, figures show that hundreds of Filipinos -- who came to Greece in their thousands as part of an organized migration program in the late 1980s and early 90s, mostly to work as household help -- are returning home. The most firmly rooted of Greeces migrant communities, the economic crisis appears to be chasing them away, as few Greek households can still afford to hire home help.

The first to go are the children and spouses of those who still have jobs here, even though many have kids who were born here and feel quite settled. They are followed by those who dont want to spend money on renewing their residence permits once they expire as they know that finding work will be a tough task. Then there are those who came to Greece in the past decade and have yet to form any strong bonds with the country. They have seen their monthly wages drop to the point that it is no longer worth it.

However, there are a few hundred Filipinos who have worked as household assistants for nearly two decades and have acquired a great deal of expertise. According to Panayiotis Adams, who runs an employment agency specializing in household help, most of this group of Filipinos have seen their salaries reduced by a maximum of 20 percent.

Most earn around 800 to 1,000 euros a month, Adams said. Demand for them remains high because they are so specialized.

The most marked difference between then and now, he says, is that while in the past he would get calls from employers from all over Athens, now it is almost always from the wealthiest suburbs.

According to Leanor Mabagal, welfare officer at the Embassy of the Philippines in Greece, going back is not easy for most members of the Filipino community.

The Filipino people are very hardworking and they maximize their time. Now, with the crisis, they will work two or three jobs -- a couple of hours here, a couple there -- whatever they need to do to make ends meet. Most share accommodation with others. Either way, even 500 euros is better than what they would earn in other places, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia or the countries of the Middle East, which are their alternatives.

ekathimerini.com , Monday June 11, 2012 (20:00)  
The irrational crackdown on an Athenian food truck
Greek health cuts a matter of life and death on Samos
Revenge of disaffected Europe risks new crisis sparked in Greece
Experts warn of teenage gambling addiction
Tribute to Nikos Kessanlis, a pioneer and great teacher of Greek art
Armed with a forceful nature and an intrepid spirit, Nikos Kessanlis was a pioneer who changed the course of art in Greece, both as an artists himself but also as rector of the Athens School...
Renowned Greek singer Demis Roussos, 68, dies
Greek singer Demis Roussos, whose often high-pitched pop serenades won him household recognition in the 1970s and 1980s across Europe and beyond and who sold more than 60 million records, h...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Karamanlis to meet Bakoyannis as New Democracy broods
2. Row breaks out over plan to move Tripoli trash to Attica
3. EU, Germany warn Greece over debt reduction ambitions
4. Engine failure likely to have downed Greek F-16
5. Thessaloniki court finds 85 guilty in forged driving permits case
6. Fear of floods after Evros rises above emergency level
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece wants a debt break, but what about its poorer neighbors?
2. $11 billion wiped from Greek banks on nationalization threat
3. Investors turn on Tsiprass campaign to end austerity in Greece
4. Varoufakis says Russia row not about sanctions, but proper consultation
5. Greek banks rebound as gov't cites inexperience for remarks
6. Schulz warns Tsipras against straying from stance against Russia, ahead of Athens meeting
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. Greeks fork out nearly 5 pct of their incomes on telecom services
5. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
6. Poll shows SYRIZA leading ND by 4 pct
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.