Greek Pensioner Collapses from Starvation: Is Hunger Returning to Greece?



An elderly man in the town of Volos, Central Greece, was rushed to hospital on Thursday evening after collapsing from starvation in his home.

This is the second such incident this week, after the collapse of a 9-year-old girl in Rhodes who fainted from hunger as she was waiting with her laid-off mother at a local bakery to buy some bread.

According to local media, the unnamed man relied on the charity of neighbors and the Church for food and other necessities but had not been seen around the neighborhood in recent days.

Staff from the municipal authority’s Help at Home program were dispatched to his home after a call from concerned neighbors and found that the 74-year-old man had collapsed as a result of food deprivation.

The municipal authority is reportedly looking into putting the man in a care home or finding some other way to provide him with the support he needs.

The two recent incidents are a grim reminder of the destitution many Greeks suffered during the eight-year long economic crisis.

The coronavirus lockdown has hit the country’s economy hard, at a time when indicators suggested that growth was returning. Tourism, the mainstay of the Greek economy and its main export earner, has been particularly affected.

Greece’s economic recession in the second quarter will be deep, at 15-16 percent year-on-year, according to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras as well as the National Bank of Greece.

Therefore, the economy is projected to shrink by 7.5-8 percent over the whole year, although problems will be greater for certain financial sectors, such as food service, and regions, such as the islands, due to an uneven recovery.