Greek living in Istanbul: I have lost 50% of my income in euros since the lira collapsed

Turkish lira protest income

On the one hand, Turkish citizens continue to form queues outside supermarkets and gas stations due to inflation and income reduction, and on the other hand, all large companies have frozen their imports to Turkey until the lira stabilises and stops its downward trend.

Unfortunately, the situation has hit all households with the poorest being those who now live below the threshold.

As the Greek director of a large Turkish company, Antonis Filippidis, who lives with his family in Istanbul, explains to Proto Thema, a solution must be found immediately.

“Although I belong to the upper classes, from the beginning of the year until today I have lost 50% of my income in euros,” he stressed.

“So we can easily understand what happens to households that are paid with the minimum wage that in euros amounts to around 220 euros (2,800 pounds),” Filippidis added.

According to the Greek businessman, even Apple was forced to close its stores in Turkey in order to not suffer financial losses.

“The Turkish lira has slipped to such an extent that life here has changed,” he continued.

“It is not that there are no stocks of products, just that people in their attempt to collect stock of raw materials are running to buy resulting in a problem.

“Due to inflation, people are running to buy at today’s price, with the result that companies are constantly suffering financial losses.

“Even Apple was forced to close its stores and stop selling in Turkey.”

All the people of Turkey are hoping for a miracle.

As the businessman said, “everyone is waiting for the pound to stabilise somewhere so that life can be adjusted to the new levels, without losing money, which is what is required.

“Most products are imported here with the result that payments are made in dollars but the buyers do not know where the price will move. So they stopped selling until they stabilised the fall of the lira to the new price of the product.

“The dollar from 9.5 lira went down to 12.5 and is now trying to stabilise somewhere at 12.

“If someone has bought with the dollar at around 10 and this has gone up to 15 then they will pay an extra 50% extra for the same product.

“Many companies have stopped selling products to Turkey.”

Even suicide rates have risen sharply, especially at a young age.

“Citizens are in debt, so they can’t make ends meet. The minimum wage here in euros has been set at 220 euros, people do not go out, they cannot live,” he said.

“There is a large part of the population that is paid with this salary. So when you see everyday that you cannot buy bread because of your low income, then you understand the difficulties.

“Many families who live on these salaries will live. In addition to food, they are required to pay rent, their children’s expenses, schools they will go to.

“There are cases of people who commit suicide because they cannot meet their obligations.

“It will be interesting to see where the 10 billion that resulted from the agreement with the Prince of the Emirates will be invested, but even this is not enough.”

From the beginning of the year until now, Antonis Filippidis has lost a large part of his income.

“I am paid in Turkish liras and I have lost half my income since the beginning of the year if we convert it into euros.

“Of course, due to my position, I belong to the high level of the population, but this issue concerns us all.

“At the moment the dollar is at 12 liras, but if it escapes and goes to 15 then we have a 25% landslide which means that the whole world is 25% poorer.

“If prices have to be adjusted then we will have significant increases. People panicked about this and ran to catch essential items because when you have learned to calculate every lira then you are called to take action.

“That’s why queues were created at gas stations, supermarkets.

“If the situation is not stabilised and the wages that will cover inflation are not increased, then nothing will happen.”

READ MORE: Greek Businesses Keep Close Eye on Turkey Interests Amidst Lira Meltdown.

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