Beckley author’s first-hand account of Greek crisis

Marjory McGinn and Jim Bruce with their dog Wallace
Marjory McGinn and Jim Bruce with their dog Wallace

With the Greek financial crisis continuing to hit the headlines this week an author has published her first-hand experience of living in the country.

Marjory McGinn, 61, and her 59-year-old partner Jim Bruce, recently moved to Beckley following a stint living in the Peloponnese region of the country. While there they experienced first-hand how ordinary Greeks were battling to live under severe austerity measures and an economy on the verge of collapse.

Marjory and Jim lived in Greece for three years from 2010 then again in the same region for a year until a few weeks ago.

She published her first book, Things Can Only Get Feta, following their first stint in Greece and has just published the sequel, Homer’s Where The Heart Is. Stories about Marjory and the books have appeared in the Daily Telegraph’s world edition, various websites and blogs and Greek newspapers and websites.

She said: “Things were getting very bad out in Greece with a lot of uncertainty so we decided to come back to the UK. Since the election in Greece in February, everyone knew problems were on the horizon and it got steadily worse. In 2010, we decided to have a mid-life adventure and move to Greece. It was risky but no one was able to predict how bad it would get.

“Throughout 2011 and 2012 we saw people becoming more frustrated and worried about the future with money being tight. We were renting a house from a Greek family in a village and some members had had their wages cut. One woman working for the government had not been paid for five months. Greeks are really hard-working and we saw how much they were angry over being painted as work shy.”

Marjory and Jim spent a year in Koroni before moving to Beckley.

She said: “We both knew we wouldn’t be able to move to Greece again, partly because the political climate was becoming worse. We saw businesses collapsing and people begging on the streets. One of my friends had a farm and lived in a dilapidated old house surviving on 300 Euros a month.

“Back in 2010 people thought they would survive through the crisis but over the last five years the suicide rate in Greece has increased enormously. I’m still in touch with many Greek friends who are in despair because they can’t get money out of the banks and frightened for the future.”

Anyone wanting to buy Marjory’s books can visit www.bigfatgreekodyssey.com.

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