Families Crumble In Greece's Economic Crisis
Seventy-year-old Eletharias cannot afford to go the supermarket any more, so for the past few months he has started rummaging for food in dustbins.
He goes out in Athens at night so that no one sees. When Sky News met him, he was collecting onions from some wheelie bins.
"Since my pension was cut, I can't buy food so I look through the garbage," he said, "I can only pray that things get better."
He is among an increasing number of pensioners who have slipped into desperate poverty and rely on waste food to survive.
Irini Gkana, 77, and 80-year-old Argyro Hadri-Sotiraki get their sustenance from a downtown soup kitchen.
On her way out of the complex, Irini stooped to pick up an apple lying on the pavement and squirreled it into her trolley bag.
Life has not always been like this but the debt crisis has left them unable to provide for themselves for the first time since they were war children.
"It is like during the war, we just can't afford to buy what we need," says Argvro. "The soup kitchen reminds me of the Nazi occupation in 1941."
Irini agrees, adding: "The hunger."
The young are also falling through the cracks of this economic crisis. Hundreds of children are now being looked after by SOS centres because their parents can no longer support them.
Just outside of Athens Sky News met a group of six children. Three had come from one family, the other three from different parents.
They had become a new family looked after by an employed SOS mother called Litza.
When we arrived Litza was serving up a lunch of fried lung and lemon potatoes.
SOS youth worker Pavlos Salichos told Sky News that demand for the charity's assistance had increased by 75% in two years.
"There are many social factors - alcoholism, drugs and abuse - but the primary cause is economic," he said.
"If you have both parents who are unemployed, they can become desperate and there is a psychological trauma for them too because they have to go to social services and tell them that they can't support their children anymore."
Greece is struggling to support itself. There are no official figures but according to people in the trade an increasing number of women are turning to prostitution.
As she touted for business on the streets, Anita, told Sky News she regularly checks herself for infection but she, like most sex workers, is not signed up to Greece's prostitution licensing system. She is unregulated, making her more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
Rough sleeping has also risen by 25%. Last week, a homeless man was beaten to death for the coins he had collected that day by another group of homeless people.
There is no doubt the country is experiencing a severe economic crisis which is in danger of getting worse but Greece, a country so proud of family tradition and community spirit, has lost so much more than money.
what do you think?
Reminds me of just before WWII, don't you think. Millions of young people with no life goals to look forward to. Well done bankers! PS prime minister, you don't come out of recession by Tax & Sack, no matter what your Big Bussiness legalised criminals tell you while on a free foreign holiday
This happens in the UK every day, not just in Greece.. Cameron's only interested in making his rich buddies richer as the poor get poorer. He needs to be doing something about this now.
Greeks gave us British plenty of food when we were all in Cyprus, so did the Turks in the north. They helped us, we should help them. Greece helped fight for this country during the last war. We've helped their enemies since then more than we ever did for Greece. After helping Great Britain fight during WWII it is totally unacceptable that we should allow them all to scavenge in dustbins for food. They treated us with lots of respect and let us live in their country of Cyprus with no complaint. We must send seeds for plants and food producing trees. These were our allies, well, OK, not mine but my ancestors during WWII. We must not ever forget that. They died with and alongside my ancestors.
Greeks get plenty social security so this story is juts a lying fabrication. and its not Britain's problems its the useless Greek governmnets.
Instead of sending monety to third world countries, we need to send money to our own people here in Europe - Greece. Look after your own first!
They should of worked harder when they had the chance - they probably retired at 55 after working 25 hours a week like the rest of them
How did you come to this conclusion Nick..... do you know more than others.... What a silly comment you have posted.
Because Louise it is part of the problem in Greece that their retirement age is way to low and it is the national passtime for Greeks, not to pay their Taxes!!
its a shame that the elderly have to live on waste food, there is thousands of greeks who squander their money on legal prostitutes and gambling and throwing money on belly dancers in fancy restaurants but yet greece is in crisis, when greece goes bankrupt cyprus will follow, the only way europe can get out of this crisis is to allow superior countries to join, eg Turkey, China etc.at least they have the economy and the money to contribute.
It's a disgrace that anyone is hungry or needs to scavenge for food. While the politicians continue to vote for more austerity for Greece, they are ignoring the plight of normal people. It was Greek politicians who lied about the country's wealth status to get into the Euro, and the failure of Europe to check it's books. Politicians created this mess, not the elderly or those willing to work hard for a living. Some people posting on here should try a little compassion for those desperate enough to have to go through a bin to survive.
Stop the sob stories from Greece, they have had it too good for far too long and the people should remember that they have all contributed to Greece's downfall by their ridiculous economic and employment free loading
That will be brits in a couple of years if things keep going the way they are.
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