Greece’s crushing economic crisis has flooded Dimitris Pinos with Greek applicants looking for work at his supermarket in the heavily-Greek-American neighborhood of Astoria, N.Y., people who’ve fled their homeland in search of a better life.
Pinos has been the manager Mediterranean Foods for 33 years and said he’s overwhelmed with Greeks who’ve moved to the area looking for work the New York Daily News reported. He said at least 10 a day come in looking for a job.
One of them, is 25-year-old Danae Vasiliadou, who relocated three months ago from Thessaloniki to Queens. “It doesn’t really feel like I moved to the States. It’s like I moved to a village in Greece. Everybody is Greek, the places are Greek,” she saids
Nicholas Alexiou, professor of sociology at Queens College, noted: “With the economic crisis deepening, about 5,000 Greeks fled their homeland for Astoria in the past year, compared to about 2,000 a year in the previous half decade.” Alexiou has been studying Greek immigration to Astoria over the last 20 years.
He then continues by adding that most Greek immigrants, who now move to Astoria, are mainly professionals. They happen to be either doctors, teachers or just people who have some kind of degree already in Greece, and they are only willing to take any job to support their family and themselves.
Another example is 22-year-old George Hatzopoulos. Raised in a suburb of Athens, during the past three years he has been living in Astoria, along with his grandparents. He is a part-time student at Queensborough Community College, juggles two jobs and interns at a music studio in Long Island City. These two young people, Vasiliadou and Hatzopoulos, are a small sampling of the new wave of immigration due to the tough economic period crisis-stricken Greece has been struggling with, the newspaper noted.
The first wave of immigrants arrived in Astoria back in 1920 and the second between 1965 and 1980. The extended article concludes by stating that for as long as Greece continues to navigate rough economic waters, Astoria continues to be a beacon of hope for many Greek immigrants.