The tragic plight of the laid-off hotel worker whose daughter fainted from hunger earlier in the week on the island of Rhodes has moved not only Greek public opinion but the government.
Greece’s famous philotimo worked wonders, since within hours of the story dominating the news channels, there were many donations from private individuals and charities to her bank account.
The divorced mother, known only by her first name, Maria, was overwhelmed with the wave of support and has been calling on people to stop sending money. She says she is not a beggar — she just wants a job to support her family.
“I repeatedly have said that I do not ask for charitable donations. I ask for a job,” she told Open TV on Friday. She also revealed that government officials called her with an offer of a job.
Maria explained that she has been in the tourism industry for over 15 years, but this year, due to the coronavirus crisis, she became one of approximately 20,000 hotel employees on the island who find themselves in a similar situation.
Maria’s nine-year-old daughter fainted from hunger earlier in the week as she was waiting with her mother at a local bakery to buy some bread, in an incident which highlighted the desperate state many employees in the tourist sector are now facing in Greece.
The girl, who has not been named, is one of Maria’s twin daughters. Their mother, who is now unable to meet the needs of her family financially since the 800-euro unemployment benefits given by the government to all hotel workers in the beginning of the health crisis have been exhausted.
Maria, a seasonal worker, has been out of a job since last August. She has been looking for a job in the tourist sector with no success. Although Greece has been open to tourists since June 15, many hotels on Rhodes and other Greek islands still unfortunately remain closed, because the necessary bookings have simply not materialized.