Greece is a dream destination for Romanian tourists, but for those who want to work or settle there, things are changing. The work schedule in the summer season is non-stop, from Monday to Monday, with no days off, the prices are high, and the wages are not extraordinary.
Life in the Greek islands can be very difficult for working Romanians. PHOTO: worldatlas.com
A Romanian who wants to move to Greece asked on a Facebook group what the advantages and disadvantages of living in the beloved tourist destination would be.
“I am considering a possible temporary or permanent move to Greece. I appeal to those who have already taken such a step to understand how impossible it can be with a few questions.” he posted on Forum Greece.
He also asked the connoisseurs some key questions. “On the islands, do I have a chance to find a job that has nothing to do with Horeca (I don't know how to cook and I've never worked as a waiter)?” How well or poorly paid are the jobs on the island or even Greece in general (I want to know if a single person would cope with expenses relative to earnings)? Island jobs understand that they are temporary. I don't understand how they deal with the months you don't work. Do you earn anything from the state? What happens to the payment of pension contributions, health? Are there noticeable price differences (for locals, I mean rents, utilities, etc.) between the islands and the mainland? How are Romanians viewed by employers in Greece? Or foreigners in general. What would the working hours be like in Greece?”this one was curious.
“Sorry if I'm bothering with the post. I know it has nothing to do with tourism, but for me it does, because tourism made me want to live there“, the man also wrote.
In Greece, in the field of horeca you earn between 1,000 and 2,000 euros per month. PHOTO: Shutterstock
Work schedule: “Expect 5 months of work every day without a day off”
The answers did not take long to appear, but they were not quite as idyllic as tourism in the mentioned country.
“Basically, depending on the job, as much as needed and as much as you negotiate. BUT, at least for summer jobs, unofficially, expect 5 months of daily work, NO DAY OFF, at least 8 hours Why? Because that's just THE way THEY are. Because in general, FAMILY businesses open in the summer have relatives in the team who want to do well for them. They also demand from the employees, whom they pay between 1,000 and 2,000 euros per month, to also shoot at the factory for those 5 months, because after that the season closes”, explained Dan.
Bogdan summarizes the working conditions on the islands in Greece: “Lots of work, little money”.
“On the islands (tourism) you will work from Easter to September-October, from Monday to Monday, minimum 10 hours a day. If you had a fairer boss and he doesn't make you part-time in the winter, you get about €400 in unemployment, so what you earn in the summer you spend in the winter! Don't think you'll ever save money, especially as a single person! To integrate, you will integrate easily as a Romanian (it's almost the same mentality). Otherwise sun, sea, tourists… Ah! And if you think about retirement, about €500! Hellas is paradise“, he detailed.
Dan argues that pay is relative to work. “Some jobs pay better, others worse, where you are more in demand or more specialized. But yes, you're coping, as they all were. You do NOT get rich, but it's ok to live, not to bring home 10,000 euros after 5 months, clean”, he elaborated.
Floods cause, year after year, great problems for the Greeks. PHOTO: Profimedia
“Island life is easy as a tourist and difficult as a permanent resident”
“Island life is easy as a tourist and difficult as a permanent resident”, Liliana concluded. She promptly answered the young man's questions:
1. I recommend that you have the necessary documents prepared, apostilled, translate them into Greek by authorized translators (in Greece) and then apostill the translations (this is done by the translator) – information can be found on the Romanian groups.
2. To install on your laptop/phone the possibility to translate from Greek to Romanian to understand more easily.
3. Target a specific island area and search for local job/employment groups.
4. To look for a first job with accommodation. Thus, you have solved the first and biggest problem on the islands, accommodation. Then together with the employer you can start the residence papers. If not, it is more difficult to find accommodation with documents because all documents start from the purchase of a no. By phone, then bank account… Etc.
5. If you have arrived on the island, things become easier if you make friends, acquaintances… They will help you find a house and a job.
6. Food, accommodation and life in general are expensive, the Greek tax system is different from the Romanian one. Also the way of working. By law, you work 8 hours. But on the islands the season lasts 4-8 months (tourism and everything related to tourism) and work is continuous, at most jobs without days off. If you focus on construction, car service, gas stations, etc…, the work is permanent. At Horeca the salaries are higher (1,300-1,500 or more), at the others they are slightly lower. Rents are also high on the islands, 500-600 euros for a studio apartment. It is good to have a driver's license, to be able to drive a van, but also a motorcycle or scooter.
“There are many complex aspects, but if you ask for help and information, if you come prepared with the documents, I am convinced that you will find answers to any problem. And if you ask the Romanian groups directly, you will also find easy work (maybe not the best at the beginning but enough to start somewhere). But you have to accept the change, nothing is easy and a move with permanent intention leads to psychological changes (on the one hand that you live alone among strangers, and on the other hand, new people with a different mentality, nature that makes all the money) . It's life changing and if you're ready, good luck!“, concluded Liliana.
The idyllic life on the Greek islands attracts many Romanian tourists. PHOTO: Pixabay
“It is the country of my soul, but only for vacation. All expensive and low wages”
Marinela lived in Greece for 15 years and recently returned home. “A lot has changed lately. It is the country of my soul, but only for vacation, it is no longer worth living in. All expensive and low wages. Don't expect to shell out money there, especially with so many walking opportunities. At work, they still prefer their own, instead they have the mentality of the Romanian, they are even open to expression“, she explained.
“It's interesting, it seems like a life as intense as it is peaceful and beautiful, if their language wasn't so complicated we would also move with our children (to Thassos),” said Daniel.
“I, who have been living in Greece for 15 years, tell you that it wasn't worth it, if you don't know the language it's very difficult to find work. The islands only work during the summer, not the rest of the year. More than 550 euros hard salary. It is an extremely expensive country and wages are very low. Plus they are also very nationalistic, when you go to the interview and they see that you are from another country they squint their noses and it doesn't suit them. And safety leaves a lot to be desired lately, people have gone a bit crazy in general… Greece is not what it once was, unfortunately!
Plus, if we don't die in fires in the summer, we die in floods in the winter, unfortunately that's how things are. It's good to be a tourist, that's all, nothing moret”, explained Souzana.