23rd November 2012
ARISTOMENIS, Greece—For decades, Panagiotis Triantafyllopoulos worked in Athens as a printer and graphic designer, most recently making slick packaging for multinational drug companies.
Now the 54-year-old spends his days gathering firewood, tending chickens and preparing for the olive harvest in this hillside village in southwestern Greece.
Unable to find a job more than two years after he was laid off, Mr. Triantafyllopoulos felt he had little choice but to return to his birthplace here this past summer and try to survive on what he can glean from his family’s small plot of land.
“I’m a nouveau poor,” said Mr. Triantafyllopoulos, who went to Athens as a teenager in 1975, part of a wave of young people moving from Greece’s agricultural hinterland to its cities. “It was a difficult decision to come back. We had dreams of something bigger.”
The future of Detroit, perhaps? Maybe Los Angeles?