After a journey on the streets and mountains of Attica, the reporters of Euronews found a shocking number of homeless people living in mountain caves due to the prolonged crisis in Greece over the last 5 years.
The journalists spoke with homeless people like Georgia Maϊmanoglou, 66, who lives in a shack. She used to work as a cleaning lady, and while talking to the journalist said that if she finds a job again, she just wants a room for her and her companion. “I found food from the rubbish at the market today as do entire families.” she says, “I am not the first or last to live like this.”
Mathaios Monselas, 58, lived in a cave near the Prison of Socrates on the Filopappos Hill, but left because of the rats. Now he is living out of a tent. He’s well-known in Greece for serving 12 years in prison for murder with the victim’s consent. He said: “In a cave you’re sheltered from the cold. It’s better than living on a bench or on the street, but it’s still a miserable side of life.”
As Euronews reports, NGO Klimaka estimates there are about 20,000 homeless Greeks, mostly in Athens – far more than the official figure. Klimaka says nearly half the homeless have children and one in every five has a degree.
Michalis Arampatzoglou of the Athens Euronews bureau said: “The main target of the Greek government this year is a primary budget surplus – that is a surplus excluding interest payments on outstanding debt.” He also added, that achieving this comes at a high cost for people’s lives. The homeless under the shadow of the Acropolis want a job. They had a right to dignity and want it back.”