May 2003: I started working as a Lecturer of Food Chemistry, in the laboratory of Food Chemistry in the Univ. of Athens. My first salary then was X euros. In the lab, we were 5 members of staff. The state financial support allowed us to train 5-7 MSc students every year.
June 2015: as an Assistant Professor in the same lab, my salary today is X + 44 euros. Yes! This is not a typo. My salary has increased only 44 euros in 12 years, despite the fact that I work now in a higher grade (Assistant Prof), I have 12 years time benefit and also children benefit as a father of two. Today, though, I have to pay more taxes (i.e. property tax and more income tax as there is not anymore tax-free income allowance).
Today, in the lab we are three members of staff. The state financial support has not come for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 and we are ready to lock up the lab and surrender the keys to the Rector of the University and the Minister of Education!
Next Academic year, the one that starts in September 2015, we can not (afford to) have any MSc students! A little detail on top of all these: the Dept of Chemistry has no cleaning support from the central University since last August.
Few day ago, we have read in the press that 200,000 scientists have fled Greece over the past 5 years. There is no doubt that the most capable people left the country. All these people have been trained by the taxpayers’ money…
With these given circumstances, it looks like there is no future whatsoever in Greece either in eurozone or out of it. The abandoning of the Universities is so paramount even by people who are supposed to work to support it (i.e. Rectors, Ministers of Education etc). And, needless to say, a country with no educational system in place is destined to be enslaved for a long time.
Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry
Univ. of Athens
P.S. the “joke” this week is this: journos from abroad call me these days and they ask me if I think the pensions are high or if the public sector is too big for the size of Greece. But no journo (in BBC, Guardian, Times etc) has spent anytime to proper study the problem of the Greek Unis, that they are understaffed and underfunded, thus, the problem in Greece is an educational one…