Greece really needs its youth in order to overcome the crisis, yet its youth is leaving it.

The economic crisis has made the future of young Greeks very insecure. There are solutions that should be considered by our generation to save Greece and achieve our dreams.

Greece is presumably the European country that has been most affected by the global financial crisis of late 2000s. It continues to struggle until today. The Greek government has sacrificed the well-being of Greek citizens in the altar of paying back their creditors, imposing intractable austerity measures. The excessive taxation has precipitated widespread impoverishment and calamitous unemployment levels, with two out of five Greeks living below the poverty line.

The situation is aggravated by austerity

As political developments unfold, any prompt progress is unlikely. Latest news involve further cuts and elevated taxation. For instance, 18% tax on hotels and restaurants will be imposed, which could be catastrophic for Greek tourism, one of the most important sectors of our economy.

The severe austerity measures have led to increased dissatisfaction among citizens, as recent polls reveal. A staggering 90% of Greeks are displeased by the government, thus strikes and protests have become an everyday routine. Dissatisfaction is a reasonable feeling to have when living below the poverty line while at the same time austerity measures don’t bring any substantial progress towards improving our country’s economy. Bailout money has been used improperly by both the current and former governments, as they only aim to pay debts rather than help the economy grow.

The future of young Greeks is highly uncertain, causing mass migration

The circumstances are uneasy for all Greeks and even worse for the Greek youth. The overall unemployment level is currently at 24.2%, while among youth the value soars beyond 50%. Needless to say, numerous talented young Greeks are leaving their country to seek better job prospects abroad, which harms the demographics of our already aging population.

The non-existent opportunities in Greece forced me to be part of that migration trend, since I will be studying in the UK where I expect to find a more promising future. Greece really needs its youth in order to overcome the crisis, yet its youth is leaving it. However, I intend to return and try to get involved in the economic policy making of my country. I hope that my generation will give an end to the ongoing crisis by helping the economy to recover and I would like to contribute to that momentous change.

Greek youth could change the situation

The leaders of my generation, the future league of movers and shakers should learn from the blunders of current politicians.  In order to pay our debts and help the economic growth of Greece, we must relinquish the current austerity measures that slow the economy and start investing in various markets. By promoting specific sectors , we could increase employment and boost the Greek economy. Tourism is definitely one of those sectors that needs to be considered, since the beauty of Greece is presently underutilized.

Another issue is that it takes more days to open a business in Greece than in most Europeans countries. There are copious laws and formalities that hinder entrepreneurship, while we should do the exact opposite and give the right incentives to entrepreneurs, who can help in the advancement of the economy.

The hopes and dreams of my generation of Greeks

Even during such a troublesome period, young Greeks uphold our dreams. We preserve our optimism and hope that by taking matters in our own hands Greece will flourish. We believe in a brighter future, in which everyone is capable to pursue the career he or she deserves and experience a life full of opportunities. We envisage a future in which foreigners will not associate our country with its economic crisis, but with its admirable culture.

In 2012, Greece launched the largest sovereign state default in history. That’s not the kind of history we are used to make as a country. We anticipate that our generation, the Greeks of tomorrow, will bring back the kind of history it makes and follow the path of our ancestors, whose accomplishments are universally extolled.

Manos is an alumni of Yale Young Global Scholars and is currently studying Economics at UCL.

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