Homeless in Athens in the Midst of Holiday Cheer

Every holiday season since the beginning of the economic crisis, Athens becomes a city of contradictions. In the centre of the capital, where the Christmas decorations of shops compete with each other, the city’s homeless population compete for a warm corner to lay their weary bodies.

Even though there are no exact statistics, Greece’s homeless are estimated at 40,000, with the vast majority of them living in the capital. The number is steadily increasing, as austerity forces more and more Greeks to lose their homes and jobs.

Adding to these numbers, the unspecified large number of undocumented migrants who are not registered with any authority, Athens truly becomes a place where heaven and hell can coexist at any street corner.

Photographer Giorgos Kontarinis captured some homeless people in the midst of the holiday cheer.