Greece debt woes brings rise in homelessness

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Greece debt woes brings rise in homelessness

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There is increasing alarm that Greece’s debt crisis is forcing more people onto the streets.

The Red Cross estimates as many as 20,000 people are sleeping rough.

Social workers say homelessness in Greece has increased by as much as 25. per cent over the past two years.

Those affected come from all walks of life.

“The profile is changing and we see people with a very high education level, people that up until a few months ago they had a house, a regular job, they were living with their families, and now they’re on the streets,” said Athensia Tourkou, a worker at the Klimaka Homeless Centre in Athens.

Greece’s weak public finances were the initial trigger for the euro zone crisis.

Now in its fourth year of recession, the country’s central bank predicts growth will not return to the economy until 2013.

That could put more Greeks at risk of being unable to make ends meet. Unemployment is forecast to to be almost 17 percent by the end of the year.