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'Nouveau poor' in Greece get free Christmas meal

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'Nouveau poor' in Greece get free Christmas meal


A soup kitchen for the poor is something St Emilian church in the Greek capital Athens provides every day.

But with the debt crisis throwing so many middle class parishioners into hardship, the local priest organised a Christmas feast for about 40 of his flock.

A three course meal was laid on at a family owned traditional Greek tavern close to the church.

Father Nicolas Argyropoulos says it is his church’s obligation to provide support for those who are struggling.

“Unfortunately these days we’re encountering many ‘nouveau-poor.’ People who had homes, cars, luxuries, and a job. One day, they lost their jobs and were left struggling to pay for homes and cars. Homes and cars though cannot go into a casserole to feed their kids. So we are responsible for helping these people as well. They are very proud people.”

Greece is about to face its sixth year of recession as wage cuts and tax hikes keep the economy from growing. Output has shrunk a cumulative 24 percent since 2008.

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