Recently reporters from Greek National Television's ET3 channel travelled to New Zealand to see and talk to the people who make up what is probably the Greek Community which is the furthest away from Greece... Nikos Aslanidis and his team from Αληθινά Σενάρια gives us a glimpse of the Wellington and Auckland Greek Communities and talks to both the old and the new immigrants who make up these communities.
The wave of migration from Greece to New Zealand after New Zealand's involvement in the Second World War and especially in the Battle of Crete over 50 years ago took place under conditions markedly different to those of today.
Greece's current economic crisis has led to a new wave of migration to New Zealand, and as I have said many times, is perhaps the only real positive outcome of this plague which has descended on the people of Greece who are attempting to survive in an environment of austerity, falling income levels, rising prices and rising tax burdens.
The majority of Greek people have gone from a standard of living where they were relatively comfortably off, with their own house and one or two cars, to the point where almost everyone is struggling to make ends meet, some are managing some are very definitely not, with assistance being given to the unemployed and the homeless, not by the consecutive governments whose gross mishandling of a credit crisis turned it into a humanitarian crisis but by NGOs and voluntary assistance from groups such as Boroume, Doctors without Borders, Kivotos and many others.
Unemployment is approaching an explosive and staggering 30% while Greece has a very talented, highly qualified and educated population of young graduates - their parents have seen to that - who are finding it impossible to get jobs which bear any relation to their studies.
Businesses are closing, very few are opening and there is little economic stimulus provided for new investments by the very short sighted and arrogant representatives of the EU, The European Central bank and the IMF, commonly referred to as the Troika - grey suited, unimaginative number crunchers, who cannot, or will not, see the people behind the numbers and continue demanding their pound of flesh in order to 'save' Greece while killing her people so to speak.
When people do manage to find employment in Greece, the almighty Troika has ensured that they will only be entitled to the basic pay rate of around 500 euro per month... that's a grand total of 20 euros per working day...
Things will improvem but in the meantime it is no wonder that these young people are spreading their wings and by doing so enriching our Communities abroad.
Our New Zealand Greek Community is one of these.
You can watch Part I of the documentary here.
Part 2, will be shown later this week, on Thursday evening at around 10.30 Greek time.