“Money soon became worthless. We returned to an exchange. For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman. (It is hard to speak of it, but it is true.) Most of the women who sold themselves were desperate mothers.”
Six years of crippling financial crisis have sent Greek students to the streets. However, not for anti-austerity protests but for sex. They allegedly “sell it very cheap,” for the price of “a cheese pie or a sandwich,” thus “offering the lowest prices of the industry across the Continent.”
“Some women just do it for a cheese pie or a sandwich they need to eat because they are hungry,” Gregory Lazos, professor of sociology at Panteion University in Athens told The Times and spoke about the results of a study he conducted.
Lazos conducted the study among 400 women working on the streets. The study has lasted 3 years. Many of these women were students.
They sell sex for a piece of bread – so to say – “in order to eat or cover basic needs and extra expenses as they have no money,” The Times and Lazos on The Times claim.
“80% of prostitutes in Greece are Greek women aged 17 to 20”.
The price for sex has dramatically decreased from €50 euro for 60 minutes down to “€2 for half an hour.“
“From the 18,500 prostitutes who work mainly in the streets throughout the country, since most brothels operated without a license, the majority now are desperate Greeks.”
As KTG has only partial access to The Times due to the pay wall and picked up some additional information from Greek media that translated the article, it is not very clear when exactly the study has been conducted, its methodology and other scientific tools indicating “age”, “region” and other data. Neither did KTG manage to find out the percentage of students among the 400 case of women street workers. A percentage expected to be high enough to justify the article’s title.
Gregory Lazos claimed further that before the economic crisis “there was not prostitution tendency among Greek women.” He stressed that “the phenomenon seems to grow at a steady and consistent pace.” Before the crisis the majority of prostitutes were women from Eastern Europe.
So, The Times and Gregory Lazos lived happily ever after, and the Greek women that used to be little Saints but now sell it and do it on the streets have finally something to eat. Not even a souvlaki, though. It costs €2.00 – €2.20 and has 23% Value Added Tax for having salt and spices on it. A small cheese pie can be bought for €1 – €1.20. So there is one euro left to cover basic needs and extra expenses…
Now some Greeks wonder, why all the Greek films of the 50’s the 60? and the early 70’s were featuring Greek women as prostitutes with the most famous one being Ilia (Melina Merkouri) in Never on Sunday. And some Greeks of the usual mean Greek category reckon all the fine young ladies in the noble bars and restaurants of certain high-class suburbs of Athens before the crisis… Ops! They were “escorts”. – And because they were so many, the brothels emptied and did not renew their licenses – Just kidding!
PS At least in the sex sector Greece seems have developed into a super competitive country I wonder, how IMF’s Lagarde would comment on this and if she would support the sector’s booming withe both her thumbs up.