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Event time (Europe/Berlin)

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  • Europe/Athens
  • Europe/Berlin
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ΔΕΘ HELEXPO - Pavilion 13
154 Egnatias Street
54636 Thessaloniki

Working Class


A Greek-German book talk on the present and future development of the middle class

For decades, the middle class has been the driver and beneficiary of prosperity in Europe. Each generation has been guaranteed better living conditions than the previous one, a situation that has been crucial in maintaining a high level of social cohesion in most European countries. The economic crisis of the past decade, however, has mainly affected the middle class. Equal effort does not ensure equal quality of life – and the gap between rich and poor is widening.


Two very popular books in both Germany and Greece trace this trend. In her book Working Class, DIE ZEIT journalist Julia Friedrichs traces the roots of this structural change in Germany, Europe's largest economy, based on the personal stories of people who struggle every day, yet cannot maintain a satisfactory standard of living – let alone one that is better than that of their parents. Panagis Panagiotopoulos, Assistant Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University, draws parallels for Greece in his book Adventures of the Middle Class. How has Greece’s middle class evolved since the 1960s? Which experiences created the social contract of the post-war middle class? The book offers answers to these questions and more.

The event, jointly organised by the Thessaloniki office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and publisher Epikentro, will approach the present and future development of the middle class in both countries and internationally. While discussing the two books, it will take special consideration of the time during and after the pandemic. The event will be moderated by journalist Tasos Telloglou.


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