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It is undeniable that Santorini is one of people’s #goals this year, as the rising number of visitors can attest. However, this recent surge of popularity is responsible for an increase in rental prices on the island and a limited number of affordable accommodation, which is having a devastating effect on Greek workers.
Due to a boom in tourism, civil servants such as teachers and medical staff, have been struggling to find affordable accommodation on the popular islands of Santorini, and Mykonos. As such, the authorities have appealed to locals to “adopt” teachers assigned to the islands.
In Greece, when teachers submit an application for a position, they cannot apply for a specific city or island but usually ask for a region. They may come from neighbouring islands and hope for a cheaper destination; since the economic crisis, teachers’ salaries have been reduced to around 700-850 Euros a month, which makes it difficult to rent a small flat or even afford to share a house with colleagues.
Santorini’s mayor, Nikos Zorzos said, “We are in constant search for accommodation for teachers. We have been holding several meetings to address the issue. There are no houses to rent, we are at a dead end. I appeal to locals: Adopt a teacher for a short time.”
Last weekend, around 120 nursery school, primary and secondary teachers arrived on Santorini before the start of term, but they have been unable to find accommodation so far. Some teachers, coming with their families, are seen stranded on the island without a roof over their heads. Thankfully, some were able to find a place to stay after the mayor’s appeal.
As sad as the situation may be, the issue is not limited to Santorini or Mykonos; is also affects other islands such as Corfu, Crete and Syros, where tourist season is still going strong with the high prices there to target visitors, but are unaffordable for working Greek nationals.
Earlier this year, Santorini’s mayor had already announced that the rising number of tourists has put a heavy strain on the island’s infrastructure, reaching a point of saturation. This accommodation shortage is just more proof that the struggle on the island is very real.