For a quick crash course: The recession in Greece was fueled by both the U.S. mortgage loan crisis in 2007 and the high ratio of debt and GDP. In 2010 Greece signed a Memorandum of Understanding (contract) between themselves and financial donors such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that Greece could receive money and avoid bankruptcy. On June 30, 2015 Greece became the first developed country to default on its loans from the IMF. As a result Greece has been financially cut off by IMF resources and by other donors.
So what does this mean for the youth in Greece? Youth in this scenario is being defined as young people 15-35. The youth population in Greece is already suffering from the recession, as fewer are employed and more are looking for a job. According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, more than 640,000 youths have already lost their jobs to older adults.
Greek youths are now fighting a different battle, being outsiders to a labor market than favors older employees. Therefore, even if a situation where employment sectors retain total employment, there is still job loss among the youth. As a result of the limited job opportunities for Greece’s youth, more than 200,000 Greeks younger than 35, educated and skilled, have emigrated abroad. Greece is losing its bright-minded youth and hindering the opportunity for innovation because all the bright minds are leaving for places with greater incentives.
It is the loss of the Greek State that it is losing the creativity and collaboration from the country’s younger generations. In addition, education and employment preferences in Greece do not follow the job market trends. The most popular jobs, such as law and medicine, are hit the hardest by the recession, and lead to even higher unemployment rates by graduation. Dimitris, a student at PEA this summer, highlights that the recession has taken a toll on the Greek education system. He says this is largely seen with the colleges in Greece, as sporadic shutdowns are common. If Greece can offer more incentives to youth to stay and get trained in certain lacking fields, it can boost its economy and lessen its debt.