This is Iliana.
In 2019, according to the latest available data by Eurostat, for national citizens in EU-countries, the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion was observed in Greece (31%), followed by Romania (28%), Bulgaria (27%) and Italy (26%). But the rates for non-EU citizens were extraordinarily high too. Greece appeared second in the rank with 56.8% (over one out of two!) after Sweden (57.3%), with the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion for non-EU citizens living in the country.
In a recent interview which my colleague Stavros Malichudis and I conducted with Apostolis Kapsalis, researcher on industrial relations at the Labour Institute (INE) of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), he talked about how the pandemic has driven the labor market and labor relations into an unprecedented, critical situation compared to previous years, for migrants as well as national citizens.
“The harsh financial restrictions that we experienced in 2012-2013, will seem like child’s play, like a sweet memory,” Kapsalis told us, comparing an extremely unstable political, economic and social period for Greece to the lasting effects that COVID-19 has created today and for the future.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic is making an already highly unequal world even more so.
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