Over 20,000 homeless Athenians resort to charities

A new survey indicates that austerity measures imposed by Greece’s government have forced over 20,000 of homeless people living in the capital Athens to resort to municipal social services and charities.
According to the survey, conducted by the Reception and Solidarity Centre of the Municipality of Athens, 77 percent of the homeless people are men.

The survey, published on Thursday, also revealed that 73 percent of Greeks, who rely on charitable organizations, including soup kitchens, have been unemployed for nearly two years.

On Thursday, Athens’ Mayor Yiorgos Kaminis said that “Despite the unprecedented crisis affecting our country, we have managed to keep the city centre on its two feet, where serious problems have concentrated and even at a time when the social structures of the state have collapsed.”

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its sixth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left tens of thousands of people without jobs.

Thousands of Greeks have been staging protests across the country against the austerity measures imposed by the government.

Many Greek workers are currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed.

The European financial crisis began in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.