Fear and panic. That is the atmosphere which many Greeks believe now pervades their country. Cash machines have been working overtime. Bankers estimate up to 800 million euros were leaving major banks daily prompted by worries over the future of Greece’s currency. Retailers report shoppers snapping up non-perishable goods.
Despina Tsilali, retired engineer and pensioner summed up her concerns when she said, “I am worried, but I do not have money – not to take out or to put in – but my main worry is not for me, it’s for my children because at the moment they don’t have a job.”
Food queues are a common sight in Aspropyrgos an industrial suburb of Athens. Austerity measures have reduced the country’s social services and many have turned to non-governmental-organisations for support.
The wait for a food handout from the NGO called, “Bread and Change” was anything between one and two hours.
“What frightens me is that my kids have no future. They studied, have diplomas, these are useless. They can’t even get a job at a construction site, a days wage. We can’t afford to pay for electricity. What is more tragic than for a family to live without electricity?” remarked Evangelia Tiliakou
The latest jobless figures offered little to lift the gloom at 22.6 percent for the first quarter the statistics are a record high while officially Greece’s poverty rate has now reached 20 percent.