Harsh Winter in Greece
In the past two years Greece faces a humanitarian disaster.
I spoke to an old person who had lived through the occupation of Greece from the Nazis. He just saw hundreds of people gathering to a place where farmers gave their products for free. Poor people who used to have jobs, who now face huge difficulties to survive each day.
He was crying as he was describing the image. He told me, "I never thought I would live to see the same reality again, but here I am".
The winter this year in Greece is harsh. It is harsh because according to the official statistics unemployment is over 20%. In reality, it is more than 30%. It is harsh because prices keep on rising but salaries keep on going down. If there is a salary. If there is a job.
The homeless population in Greece has doubled over the past 2 years. I am certain that there would be many more homeless if "family" didn't play such an important role in Greece. In the absence of the state, "family" is the last shelter.
We speak of people who used to have jobs, have families of their own. Many of those new homeless are also young people, with higher education. Others are old people.
Suicides is now an every day reality. You read it on the news, you hear it on the streets, you learn about someone on your neighborhood who tried to commit suicide, or committed suicide.
Everyone has a story to say. Everyone knows people who live without electricity, or without water, because they are not able to pay. All live in great insecurity.
The Health System in Greece is collapsing. Aid groups such as Medecins Sans Frontieres or Medicins du Monde take over the role of providing basic medical services for those many thousands who are in need.
This is the reality in Greece. This winter is harsh.