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Shock in Athens: People Find Food in Garbage Bins (video)

Fish eggs, rotten vegetables, cracked eggs, expired dairy products, a loaf of old bread… They pick everything they think they can eat from the big garbage bins standing outside super-markets and restaurants. They set aside their dignity and dig deep in the stinking bins to secure something to eat. A piece, a handful of something eatable. Old and young, jobless and pensioners, Greeks and immigrants. People who cannot even afford to buy a loaf of bread for 0.80 euro. Scenes of a society sinking rash in desperate poverty. Scenes that take places in more and more suburbs of the Greek capital.

This shocking video was broadcast on Friday night by private Alpha TV.

Video: Eating Out … at the Garbage Bin

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“For us poor, it’s always difficult” an old man tells the reporter as he nears a garbage bin outside a super market in Vrilissia suburb in the north of Athens, at 9.30 pm. ” I live here in the last 15 year, I got sick, I lost my job” tells him another woman, apparently a migrant.

Around a garbage bin,  there is a “fight” for expired croissants. “Give me two for my child” a man asks the younger who normally manage to get the ‘best’ bites from the trash.

“There are people who cannot afford to buy a loaf of bread and they ask us to keep a loaf for them for the next day” says a baker.

And a food vendor adds “People who used to spend 20 euro for food, now ask me to keep for them our waste. An aubergine, two tomatoes, some oranges for their children.”

A fish seller at the open market tells the reporter, that there are people who ask for the bag with the leftovers after he has cleaned the fish. “They try to get some tiny fish we threw away, or even fish eggs”. He assures that the people who “beg” for the fish leftovers are Greeks. In the majority old. Pensioners.

Shadows in the dark. People with no face and name. People who get something to eat when the supermarkets lights are out. And the waste is taken to the streets.

 ….And this reminds me of a powerful poem by Manolis Anagnostakis.

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14 comments

  1. In other nations, charities step in to prevent those epople from starving. In Greece, I guess it’s the church providing much help. But how about private efforts? Are there any rich Greeks who help the poor, out of solidarity and patriotism?

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    ehm… errr…. I can’t tell. The Church gives out meals and I guess there are some private efforts too, but the number of poor is increasing. Can people cover their need for food with one meal from the charity? I don’t know. I’ve seen also in the open market people pick up rotten veggies and fruits. I know vendors who give for free a couple of apples, potatoes etc mostly to old people. It is also a matter of dignity. I know a family ashamed to seek the church help because the community will find out. But searching in the garbage bins at night, or ask street vendors for aid, it can be …easier (?). I really do not know.

  3. iaourti iaourtaki

    Can’t find that back but i’ve read about some EU fund against hunger in Europe – for Greece it was something little like 21(?) millions but i’m not sure if this money is already transferred.
    Some negotiations are also on its way regarding the 12 billions from EU structure fund and European social fund – there was a meeting of Barroso and Papademos – that have to be claimed until end of 2013.
    Therefore something new from Germoney regarding “foreigners” that might come only “because of the welfare”. If there would be “masses” to come the time will come to write a manual with kindly support of 1.5 liters of Tsipouro. There is still (beside HartzIV) “Sozialhilfe” existing to pay rent, etc but i doubt it will easy to find any apartment…
    Best will be you go to your next favourite German Bratwurst fastfood and ask for translation with medium-strength mustard and curry.
    http://www.taz.de/Hartz-IV-fuer-EU-Auslaender-gestrichen/!89329/
    Interesting could be this history article about taxing the rich you might find translated in the link to the source:
    http://www.taz.de/Aus-Le-Monde-diplomatique/!88836/

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    are these funds for Greece too? Poverty funds?

  5. iaourti iaourtaki

    Yeah, sure! As said it was around 21 millions but i don’t remember if that was annual and forgot about the source but it was something similar to this news about Barroso Papademos meeting that i think happened at the last big meeting in Bruxelles as a sideshow. May be it was the same article and it was in German. I only remember that the media was a 99% serious source and this are official EU terms. Ask your old colleague still in Bruxelles?
    Funny thing is that two years ago you couldn’t find that much news about/from Greece in normal media and now it gets “too much” to follow.
    For the hunt i wish you “Fette Beute”!

  6. Yet I cont to hear how well they are doing in the News yet I don’t believe all of what I hear & I know there’s a Big Prob w Animals over there let loose & Hungry & Starving it makes Me ill ppl even stole the food for the dog rescue it’s a real mess & I donate what I could very sad…

  7. keeptalkinggreece

    I’ll try to google something and maybe find the Fette Beute

  8. keeptalkinggreece

    well, there are also people that do not suffer much from the crisis.

  9. iaourti iaourtaki

    May be this is helping making Beute. But i think this one is for the future (2013-20) but could connect to an old programm…
    http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=961&langId=el

  10. keeptalkinggreece

    thanks

  11. A good start would be deporting ALL illegal aliens OUT of Greece….

  12. what a degrading comment Max. IF anything they should be integrated and taxed to help out with the financial situation. Deporting all illegal aliens will not change or improve the crisis. It is a shame that in these apparent hard times you still can find room to be prejudice!

  13. To where? “Back to where they came from.” is the standard answer you then get. OK. And what to do with the majority that is not documented, with the big group that is not accepted back by their country of origin. How about international treaties, human right-ones and others? What about the Schengen agreements? What about the enormous transportation costs, the deportation costs, the administrative and judicial strain on the already collapsing institutions?
    What about all those who are now second and even third generation?
    Just a couple of ‘minor’ points that make your ‘solution’ bit less clear cut and simple then it sounds.