Caritas Greece, a member of the European Caritas network, has a refugee center for immigrants living in Athens and its surroundings. It serves 300 meals a day, offers Greek and English lessons and provides vaccinations for children as well as relief kits with clothes, blankets and baby milk.
But the center has only five employees – a guard, cook, secretary, cleaner and social worker. And the number of volunteers, currently 70, may be reduced if the country’s situation does not improve.
In recent times the charity has been receiving a larger number of Afghans, Middle Easterners and Africans. Greek Catholics make up only 0.5 percent of the population, making Caritas in the country smaller in scope as compared to its work in other countries like Germany.
Caritas secretary Nuño said he is additionally concerned about the civil unrest in the country.
“We also fear that the current riots are having serious repercussions on the Greek economy,” he said. “All these scenarios can lead to more poverty, unemployment and even a deterioration of the social system.”
“The European Union and Greek politicians cannot let a country fall into a black hole of poverty,” he emphasized. “It would be a shame for the entire EU. The present and the future of the Greek people, especially of the poorest, must be top priority in political decisions.”