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
“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.