Photo: mfotinakis via flickr
Thousands of men were once employed by the Greek shipyards in the city of Perama. Now, thanks to the debt crisis, hundreds of men sit idly by, waiting for work. So what’s keeping this Grecian town from sinking? Luxury yachts, according to The Guardian.
Apostolos Kivachelis, 53, the foreman on the Azul, a $27 million megayacht being built for a Croatian businessman, told The Guardian, “I’ve worked six months in the last two years…but I’m lucky. I know lots of other people who have not worked at all.”
Two decades ago there were 15,000 people working in the shipyards of Perama. Last year, the city’s unemployment rate hit a high 60-70 per cent last year and is nearing 80 per cent.
The handful of luxury yachts being built in Perama each year are essentially keeping the industry afloat, but some builders are thinking of moving their businesses farther north or out of Greece altogether, where it’s cheaper.
As one naval architect explained to The Guardian, “It’s terrible. There is no money in the market right now. Everyone is afraid to spend. The biggest problem is for Greek owners who face a lot of taxes. If I build for export it is not a problem.”
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