Will trade feta cheese for yoga course | Plan B | DW | 18.04.2013
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Plan B

Will trade feta cheese for yoga course

Nadia Kalogeropoulou from Thessaloniki has been unemployed for more than two years. She gets no money from the state, but has found a way to ensure she gets what she needs: She swaps things.

During the cold months in Thessaloniki, the smell of the crisis hangs like a grey fog over the city. No longer able to afford oil, many people heat using wood they buy at illegal markets or at the roadside. Mounds of trash are piled up on every street corner in testimony to the latest waste collectors' strike. As in all Greek cities, the crisis is omnipresent in Thessaloniki.

No chance of work

Nadia Kalogeropoulou has lived in Thessaloniki for 15 years. She studied agricultural economy at the Aristotle University there, and after graduation quickly found a well-paid job. But two-and-a-half years ago the 35-year-old was made redundant, and has been unemployed ever since - like many in her generation. And the chances of finding new job are very slim.

In Greece, the unemployed only receive benefits for one year, which means Nadia no longer gets any help from the state. But she considers herself one of the lucky ones, as she lives with her sister in an apartment their parents bought before the crisis. Nadia also has an apartment of her own, but she now rents it out. The 150 euros she takes in rent is just enough to cover her electricity, gas and water costs. But at least it means she doesn't have to heat with wood.

But how is it possible to survive on so little?

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