Greece workers turn over millions of euro for employers but live in slums

eTN Podcasts:

Mykonos is the party isle of Greece. It is a playground for the rich and famous, but it is not likely the Arabs, jetsetters, Russian tycoons, and large tour operators know that this pleasure playground is built on the sweat and suffering of its workers.

After hundreds of young employees serve island visitors, turning over millions of euro in just one evening, they return to their favelas – shipping containers and shacks that they call “home.” These half-hazard structures are painstakingly hidden to make them invisible to tourists.

Said a former employee of a beach bar restaurant in Mykonos who worked a 14-hour shift from 11 am to 1 pm, it was the most tragic experience of his life. Despite his need to earn money, he eventually left the 5-person inhabited container that flooded when someone showered and with its makeshift toilet and extreme high heat.

So who set up these shanty towns? The business owners. They advertise for personnel and offer accommodation along with pay. If employees don’t want to live in a container, which they will only realize once they get there, they will get an extra 150 euro in their pay to rent something on their own – not enough to pay for anything on the island.

The first modern Greek favelas were created as stacked containers and deftly hidden. Said Anestis Vlachos Junior on twitter, the favelas were built behind “hills covered with reeds to avoid being noticed by tourists and authorities. To reduce the cost of renting rooms and multiply the profits at the expense of young children in need of a living wage.”

If you don’t believe it, tweeted Tzanet, “That’s exactly what I’ve seen so far, and anyone who doesn’t think, they should go see it on their own as they do something even worse at the pizzeria – doesn’t let the other waiters walk barefoot on the hot sand [who] have been hurt [when seen] by the doctor when they saw their feet.”

Mykonos is filled with immigrants desperately seeking to earn a fair wage, however, as agamemnon80 said on twitter, “Like the low wages, they are filled by immigrants who have leveled vertically.”

Is this a situation where the EU can step in? If so, then why has nothing happened yet to improve these dire working conditions? Similar conditions have been reported not only in Mykonos but also in dozens of other famous tourist destinations of Greece.

Follow on Feedly