For Greeks, Burgeoning Gig Economy Means Low Wages, Long Hours | 6/27/2019 | Staff
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ATHENS (Reuters) – When he set up his own business washing boats and cars on the Greek island of Skyros nearly a decade ago, 42-year old Nikos Vourliotis was a young man with dreams and aspirations.

Then the reality of Greece’s austerity regime kicked in. A stipulation by debt-laden authorities that he should pay his annual tax bill upfront killed the business. Now, he has joined the growing ranks of Greeks in a precarious “gig economy” working long hours for low wages and no job security.

Father-of-two - Burgers - Souvlaki - Athens - Suburb

“For now, I can only think of the present,” said the father-of-two after delivering burgers and souvlaki by moped in the coastal Athens suburb of Glyfada.

“When you have two children, you are forced to look at your present to make sure that you meet your obligations, that you don’t have debts.”

August - Greece - Anniversary - Supervision - Lenders

In August, Greece will mark the first anniversary of being free from the close financial supervision of lenders whose 280- billion-euro ($316-billion) lifeline kept the country afloat for nine years after a debt crisis brought it to its knees.

Even now, millions of Greeks face unemployment or low-paid jobs and worsening working conditions. No wonder jobs are a key battleground in the campaign ahead of Sunday’s general election.

People - Greece - Survey - MRB - Half

One in two young people in Greece are unemployed. According to a survey by MRB in late 2016, roughly half of Greeks aged 18-35 lived on financial support from relatives.

As part of European Union-prescribed reforms aimed at making the economy more competitive, Greece in 2012 allowed flexible wage contracts to pay workers the minimum possible, abolished collective bargaining and curtailed powers of trade unions.

Posts - Greeks - Jobs - Contracts - Tourism

As permanent posts dried up, many Greeks resorted to part-time or temporary jobs on flexible contracts, mainly in tourism and in delivery services.

Vassilis, a 24-year-old university graduate who has been delivering food for two years, is paid...
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