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Latest update : 2013-02-20

Greece: the new poor

The assorted Greek bailouts have all come with drastic austerity measures. Thousands of middle class Greeks have suddenly found themselves living below the poverty line. Our correspondents in Athens draw us a portrait of Greece today.

Four years after the start of the crisis in Greece, we wanted to show the consequences of the austerity plans. Our goal was to show the distress but at the same time the dignity of the Greeks, and their desire to get by despite sometimes impossible situations.

Indeed, the austerity measures – be it cuts in salaries, pensions reduced four times in three years, or tax hikes on an almost daily basis – are stifling most of the country’s inhabitants.

We wanted to show that this crisis is not just economic but social, societal and even humanitarian. All levels of Greek society are directly or indirectly affected. Austerity spares no one.

Bled dry and backed into a corner, the Greeks are battling to make ends meet. Some parents are handing their children over to orphanages, in the hope this is only a temporary measure. Many families can no longer afford to pay for heating or food. In the middle of winter, they look for wood in order to have some heat. Many people pick up food and clothing handed out by the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. Its popularity is on the rise.

By Alexia KEFALAS , Nathalie SAVARICAS

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