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What teachers in Greece think about the latest bailout

Kai Ryssdal May 26, 2016
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Hundreds of school pupils demonstrate in central Athens on November 2, 2015, protesting against staff, books and infrastructure shortages. The union of secondary school teachers, OLME, was holding a three-hour stoppage to participate in the protest, demanding funds for education. 
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

The economic news out of Greece this week is that European leaders have reached another bailout deal to the tune of $11.5 billion. But what do people living in Greece have to say about this continuing cycle of increased austerity and never-ending bailouts?

We spoke with two school teachers living in Thessaloniki to see how the Greek economy is affecting them and their students.

On the changes they see with children at their school:

Kosmas Lazaridis: The last three years, you see a totally different change, a different direction in their thought. Like, a few years ago, most of the kids wanted to study and be doctors or lawyers or physicists or whatever. Now they just want to study and go abroad. They want to offer to their country, but they know there’s no place to be here.

Antouanetta Giontameli: Yes, we prepare them to go abroad to study to have experiences and then come back to Greece maybe in 2030 and make something better for our kids and for them.

Do you feel the effects of Greece’s economy day-to-day?

Giontameli: Our family is not exactly the standard of Greece because we are two people, we both have jobs… we can buy milk or food or a good meat, let’s say, once per week… But we don’t have our own house, we cannot even imagine to have our own house. And of course if a baby comes, it would be really difficult for us.

What do you do for fun then? How do you relax in the middle of all this?

We [go] out for a beer with friends… Or we gather in the house and we can talk a lot of political things.