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Greece-EU 2011: Parents Give Up Their Children Because They Can’t Feed Them

The economic crisis breaks more and more families in Greece and state officials report of shocking cases, where parents try to give their children to the protection of social institutions because they can’t feed them. Ethnos newspaper reports that parents seek the prosecutions’ offices in order to be able to have their children placed in a orphanage, and thus on a daily basis.

The newspaper reports of a case of a 30-year-old woman from a suburb of western Athens. She asked the prosecutor to ‘keep her baby so that it won’t die of cold’.  The woman had no money to pay for the rent, while the electricity was cut off. The prosecutors’ office staff made a fundraising, gave her money to pay the rent so she won’t be separated form her child. They also informed the municipality to support the woman as much as possible.

In another case, a mother of four asked the prosecutor to have her two youngest children (7 and 9) been taking care of by the state. The unemployed woman had an older son, who had no job either. The was no money at all to feed the children.

The number of parents who seek state or private welfare institutions (orphanages, SOS Children’s Villages) for their children is increasing dramatically. The main reason is lack of money to feed the children.

According to Ethnos, there has been an increase of 65% in comparison to last year. In eight out of ten cases the parents are Greeks, the rest are immigrants.

Stergios Sifnios, Director of Social Work and Research at the SOS Children’s Villages in Greece told news-portal NewsIt  that “In the second half of 2010, 45% of the cases of parents seeking SOS aid wase due to lack of financial means. If a parent wants to give up his child, it means that the family has reached the poverty threshold.”

The desperate parents try to place their children in SOS Villages in order to avoid the child’ adoption. 80% of the parents seeking SOS Villages are Greeks, stressed Sifnios.

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10 comments

  1. Sad. Very sad. But at least Greek millionaires and billionaires are able to keep their cars, villas, yachts and Swiss bank accounts. Good job by the government.

    • hear hear!!! But thats not only in Greece, its like that all over the world. Its always the ones who are already struggling who get hit even harder by crisis.

  2. Something everyonEΘΝΙΚΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ ΔΙΕΚΔΙΚΗΣΗΣΤΩΝ ΟΦΕΙΛΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΑΣ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ

    Αυτές τις μέρες διεξάγεται η δίκη στο Διεθνές Δικαστήριο της Χάγης για τα θύματα του Ναζισμού και τις Γερμανικές αποζημιώσεις.
    Η δικαίωση των Ελλήνων θυμάτων του Ναζισμού μέσω των Ιταλικών δικαστηρίων, έχει οδηγήσει την υπόθεση στο Διεθνές Δικαστήριο της Χάγης, στο οποίο προσέφυγε η Γερμανία για να ακυρώσει τις αποζημιώσεις και το οποίο ξεκίνησε τη σχετική δικαστική διαδικασία τη Δευτέρα 12/09.
    Την ίδια ώρα, ήρθε και πάλι στην επικαιρότητα το μέγα θέμα του ανεξόφλητου αναγκαστικού Κατοχικού Δανείου της χώρας μας προς τη Γερμανία και των γερμανικών επανορθώσεων για τις κατοχικές καταστροφές στη χώρα μας, αφού η Ελλάδα είναι η μόνη χώρα η οποία δεν έχει λάβει ως αποζημίωση ούτε ένα ευρώ.
    Η μέχρι τώρα παθητική, δυστυχώς, στάση όλων των ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, στο μέγιστο αυτό Εθνικό θέμα, ήρθε η ώρα να γίνει ενεργητική.
    Είναι απόλυτη ανάγκη, από σήμερα, οι Υπουργοί Δικαιοσύνης, Εξωτερικών και Οικονομικών, τουλάχιστον, να παρακολουθήσουν αυτή την πολυσήμαντη για τα εθνικά μας συμφέροντα δίκη στη Χάγη.
    Η παρουσία τους δεν θα είναι τιμή μόνο, για τα θύματα του Ναζισμού, αλλά, επιτέλους θα καταδείξει στους Δικαστές της Χάγης και στην παγκόσμια κοινή γνώμη, την αποφασιστικότητα της Ελληνικής Πολιτείας να στηρίξει δυναμικά τις διεκδικήσεις των συγγενών των ελλήνων θυμάτων της ναζιστικής θηριωδίας για ηθική και υλική αποζημίωση.
    Αυτή η δίκη στο Διεθνές Δικαστήριο της Χάγης, στις σημερινές συνθήκες, έχει τεράστια σημασία για το παρόν και το μέλλον της Πατρίδας μας.

    Για το Εθνικό Συμβούλιο
    Ο Πρόεδρος
    Μανώλης Γλέζος

    Υ.Γ. Είναι λογικό ο καθένας να σκεφτεί “Ναι, κι αν υπογράψω, τι έγινε; Θα μας πληρώσουν οι Γερμανοί;” Δυστυχώς ίσως να μη μπορεί ν’ αλλάξει πια κάτι, αλλά έχουμε την ηθική υποχρέωση να το κάνουμε! Είμαστε υποχρεωμένοι να το ζητήσουμε.
    Δεν μπορούμε ούτε να πατήσουμε δύο κλικ σαν ελάχιστο φόρο τιμής προς τις χιλιάδες των νεκρών Ελλήνων;

    Υπογράψτε για την Αίτηση καταβολής των Πολεμικών Αποζημιώσεων της Γερμανίας

    Τον Οκτώβριο του 1940, η Ελλάδα υποχρεώθηκε να μπεί στο Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο με την απρόκλητη εισβολή των στρατευμάτων του Μουσολίνι στην Ήπειρο.
    Ο Χίτλερ, για να σώσει τον Μουσολίνι από μία ταπεινωτική ήττα, εισέβαλε στην Ελλάδα τον Απρίλιο του 1941.
    Η Ελλάδα λεηλατήθηκε και ερειπώθηκε από τους Γερμανούς όσο καμία άλλη χώρα κάτω από την κατοχή τους.
    Σύμφωνα με τον Διεθνή Ερυθρό Σταυρό, τουλάχιστον 300.000 Έλληνες πέθαναν από την πείνα – άμεσο αποτέλεσμα της Γερμανικής λεηλασίας.

    Ο Μουσολίνι παραπονέθηκε στον Υπουργό του των Εξωτερικών, Κόμη Τσιάνο, « Οι Γερμανοί έχουν αρπάξει από τους Έλληνες ακόμη και τα κορδόνια των παπουτσιών τους ».
    Η Γερμανία και η Ιταλία επέβαλαν στην Ελλάδα όχι μόνο υπέρογκες δαπάνες κατοχής, αλλά και ένα αναγκαστικό δάνειο (κατοχικό δάνειο) ύψους 3,5 δισεκατομμυρίων δολλαρίων.
    Ο ίδιος ο Χίτλερ είχε αναγνωρίσει την υποχρέωση της Γερμανίας να πλήρωσει αυτό το χρέος και είχε δώσει οδηγίες να αρχίσει η διαδικασία πληρωμής του.
    Μετά το τέλος του πολέμου, η Συνδιάσκεψη των Παρισίων επιδίκασε στην Ελλάδα 7,1 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια για πολεμικές επανορθώσεις έναντι της Ελληνικής απαίτησης 14,0 δισεκατομμυρίων δολαρίων.
    Η Ιταλία πλήρωσε στην Ελλάδα το μερίδιο της από το κατοχικό δάνειο.
    Η Ιταλία και η Βουλγαρία πλήρωσαν πολεμικές επανορθώσεις στην Ελλάδα, και η Γερμανία πλήρωσε πολεμικές επανορθώσεις στην Πολωνία το 1956 και στην Γιουγκοσλαβία το 1971.
    Η Ελλάδα απαίτησε από την Γερμανία την πληρωμή του κατοχικού δανείου το 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, και το 1995.
    Παρά ταύτα, η Γερμανία αρνείται συστηματικά να πληρώσει στην Ελλάδα τις υποχρεώσεις της που απορρέουν από το κατοχικό δάνειο και τις πολεμικές επανορθώσεις.

    Το 1964, ο Γερμανός Καγκελάριος Erhard υποσχέθηκε την πληρωμή του δανείου μετά την ενωποίηση της Γερμανίας, που πραγματοποιήθηκε το 1990.
    Ενδεικτικό της σημερινής αξίας των Γερμανικών υποχρώσεων προς στην Ελλάδα είναι το ακόλουθο: εάν χρησιμοποιηθεί σαν τόκος ο μέσος τόκος των Κρατικών Ομολόγων των ΗΠΑ από το 1944 μεχρι το 2010, που είναι περίπου 6%, η σημερινή αξία του κατοχικού δανείου ανέρχεται στα 163,8 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια και αυτή των πολεμικών επανορθώσεων στα 332 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια.

    Στις 2 Ιουλίου 2011, ο Γάλλος οικονομολόγος και σύμβουλος της Γαλλικής κυβέρνησης Jacques Delpla δήλωσε ότι οι οφειλές της Γερμανίας στην Ελλάδα για το Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο ανέρχονται σε 575 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια (Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011).
    Ο Γερμανός ιστορικός οικονομολογίας Dr. Albrecht Ritschl συνέστησε στην Γερμανία να ακολουθήσει μία περισσότερο μετριοπαθή πολιτική στην ευρωκρίση του 2008-2011, διότι ενδέχεται να βρεθεί αντιμέτωπη δικαιολογημένων απαιτήσεων για πολεμικές επανορθώσεις του Δευτέρου Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου (Der Spiegel, June 21, 2011, guardian.co.uk, June 21, 2011).

    Οι Γερμανοί δεν άρπαξαν από τούς Έλληνες μόνο «ακόμη και τα κορδόνια των παπουτσιών τους».
    Στο Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο η Ελλάδα έχασε 13% του πληθυσμού της. Ένα μέρος αυτού του πληθυσμού χάθηκε στην μάχη, αλλά το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό χάθηκε από την πείνα και τα εγκλήματα πολέμου των Γερμανών.
    Οι Γερμανοί δολοφόνησαν τούς κατοίκους 89 Ελληνικών πόλεων και χωριών, έκαψαν περισότερα από 1700 χωριά και εκτέλεσαν πολλούς από τους κατοίκους αυτών των χωριών. Μετέτρεψαν την χώρα σε ερείπια, και λεηλάτησαν τους αρχαιολογικούς της θησαυρούς.

    Ζητούμε από την Γερμανική Κυβέρνηση να εκπληρώσει τις υποχρεώσεις της προς την Ελλάδα, πού εκκρεμούν για πολλές δεκαετίες, πληρώνοντας το αναγκαστικό κατοχικό δάνειο, και πολεμικές επανορθώσεις ανάλογες των υλικών ζημιών, των εγκλημάτων και των λεηλασιών που διέπραξε η πολεμική μηχανή των Γερμανών.

    Αγαπητοί φίλοι,
    όπως αναφέρεται παρακάτω από το
    EΘΝΙΚΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ ΔΙΕΚΔΙΚΗΣΗΣ ΤΩΝ ΟΦΕΙΛΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΑΣ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ:

    Αυτές τις μέρες διεξάγεται η Δίκη στο Διεθνές Δικαστήριο της Χάγης
    για τα θύματα του Ναζισμού και τις Γερμανικές αποζημιώσεις.

    Παρακαλώ ζητήσετε από φίλους και γνωστούς σας να πάνε στο

    http://www.greece.org/blogs/wwii/

    και να υπογράψουν το Αίτημα μας που ζητά

    από την Γερμανική Κυβέρνηση να εκπληρώσει τις υποχρεώσεις της προς την Ελλάδα,

    πού εκκρεμούν για πολλές δεκαετίες,

    πληρώνοντας το αναγκαστικό κατοχικό δάνειο και πολεμικές επανορθώσεις ανάλογες των υλικών ζημιών,

    των εγκλημάτων και των λεηλασιών, που διέπραξε η πολεμική μηχανή των Γερμανών…

    Please Sign the Petition for WW-II German Reparations to Greece
    and Pass it to others to sign! Everybody is eligible to Sign; Relatives, Friends, Need not be Greek to Sign! etc

    Please go to
    http://www.greece.org/blogs/wwii/

    to read the full
    petition
    (short | long)
    and the supporting material.

    We will greatly appreciate your signature on this petition requesting the German
    government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the
    forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying War reparations proportional to
    the material damages, atrocities and plundering committed by the German war
    machine during World War II.

    e should read and sign!!!!!

  3. Justification – In Detail

    By admin, June 5, 2011 6:25 pm

    Sign the petition

    Germany Should Pay its Long-overdue Obligations to Greece

    In the summer of 1940, Mussolini, perceiving the presence of German soldiers in the oilfields of Romania (an ally of Germany) as a sign of a dangerous expansion of German influence in the Balkans, decided to invade Greece. In October 1940, Greece was dragged into the Second World War by the invasion of its territory by Mussolini. To save Mussolini from a humiliating defeat, Hitler invaded Greece in April 1941.

    Greece was looted and devastated by the Germans as no other country under their occupation. The German minister of Economics, Walter Funk, said Greece suffered the tribulations of war like no other country in Europe.

    Upon their arrival, the Germans started to live off the country. They appropriated whatever they needed for their stay in Greece, and shipped back to Germany whatever they could lay their hands on: foodstuff, industrial products, industrial equipment and stocks, furniture, heirlooms from valuable collections, paintings, archaeological treasures, watches, jewelry, and from some houses even the metal knobs from the doors. The entire output of Greek mines of pyrites, iron ore, chrome, nickel, magnesite, manganese, bauxite, and gold was obtained for Germany. James Schafer, an American oil executive working in Greece, summed it up: “The Germans are looting for all they are worth, both openly and by forcing the Greeks to sell for worthless paper marks, issued locally” ( Mazower p.24). Mussolini complained to his minister of foreign affairs Count Ciano “The Germans have taken from the Greeks even their shoelaces”(Ciano p.387).

    The massive looting of the country, the hyperinflation generated by the uncontrolled printing of German Occupation Marks by German local commanders, and the consequent economic collapse of the country, precipitated a devastating famine. In addition to providing food for the 200,000 to 400,000 Axis occupation troops stationed in Greece, the country was forced to provide the Axis forces involved in military operations in North Africa. Greek fruits, vegetables, livestock, cigarettes, water, and even refrigerators were shipped from the Greek port of Piraeus to Libyan ports (Iliadakis p. 75). The International Red Cross and other sources have estimated that between 1941 and 1943 at least 300,000 Greeks died from starvation (Blytas p. 344, Doxiadis p.37, Mazower p.23).

    Germany and Italy imposed on Greece exorbitant sums as occupation expenses to cover not only their occupation costs but also to support the German war efforts in North Africa. As a percentage of GNP, these sums were multiples of the occupation costs borne by France (which were only one fifth of those extracted from Greece), Holland, Belgium, or Norway. Ghigi, the Italian plenipotentiary in Greece, said in 1942, “Greece is completely squeezed dry” (Mazower p. 67). In an act of utter audacity, the occupation authorities forced the Tsolakoglou government to pay indemnities to German, Italian and Albanian nationals residing in occupied Greece for damages, presumably suffered during military operations, which were never defined. The Italian and Albanian citizens alone received sums equivalent to 783,080 dollars and 64,626 dollars respectively! (Iliadakis p. 96). Greece, which was destroyed by the Axis, was forced to pay citizens of its enemies for presumed but unproven damages.

    In addition to the occupation expenses, Germany obtained forcibly from Greece a loan (occupation loan) of $ 3.5 billion. Hitler himself had recognized the legal (intergovernmental) character of this loan and had given orders to start the process of its repayment. After the end of the war, at the Paris meeting of 1946 Greece was awarded $ 7.1 billion, out of $ 14.0 billion requested, for war reparations.

    Italy repaid to Greece its share of the occupation loan, and both Italy and Bulgaria paid war reparations to Greece. Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956, and under pressure from the USA and the UK (to placate Tito and keep him from joining the Soviet block) paid war reparations to Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded from Germany payment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, and in 1995 (after the unification of Germany). Before the unification of Germany, using the London Agreement of February 27, 1953, West Germany avoided to pay its obligations arising from the occupation loan and war reparations to Greece on the argument that no “final peace treaty” had been signed. In 1964, German chancellor Erhard pledged repayment of the loan after the reunification of Germany, which occurred in 1990. As the German magazine “Der Spiegel” wrote on July 23, 1990, with the Two (West and East Germany) Plus Four (USA, former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and France) Agreement that paved the way for the German unification, the nightmare of demands for war reparations by all those damaged by Germany, which could be raised by signing a “peace treaty”, disappears. This statement by Der Spiegel has no legal basis whatsoever, but it is an acknowledgement of the devices Germany is using to refuse a settlement with Greece (see also guardian.co.uk, June 21, 2011). The same magazine, on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.

    Indicative of the current value of the German obligations to Greece are the following: using as interest rate the average interest rate of U.S. Treasury Bonds since 1944, which is about 6%, it is estimated that the current value of the occupation loan is $163.8 billion and that of the war reparations is $332 billion. The French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated on July 2, 2011, that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War obligations(Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011).

    The Germans did not just take “even their shoelaces” from the Greeks. During WWII Greece lost 13% of its population as a direct result of the war (Doxiadis p 38, Illiadakis p 137). During the Battle for Greece almost 20,000 enlisted Greek men were killed, and more than a 100,000 were wounded or frostbitten, while about 4,000 civilians were killed in air raids. But these numbers pale by comparison to the loss of human life experienced during the occupation.

    According to conservative estimates, the deaths resulting directly from the war before the war ended adds up to about 578,000 (Sbarounis p. 384). These deaths were the result of the persistent famine, caused by the looting and economic policies of the Axis, and of the atrocities committed either as reprisals, as a response to the resistance, or as means to terrorize the Greek population. The above number does not include the deaths which occurred after the end of the war from diseases such as TB (400000 cases) and malaria, from persistent malnutrition, wounds and exposure, all of them a direct result of war conditions. Thus, in WWII Greece lost as many lives, mostly of unarmed men women and children, as the USA and the UK together.

    Most of the atrocities committed by the Germans in Greece stemmed directly from two executive orders issued at the highest levels of the Third Reich. According to the torching directive, issued by Hitler himself, if there was a suspicion that a residence was used by the resistance, that building was a legitimate target to be burned down with its inhabitants. The second order, signed by Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, specified that for every German killed, a minimum of 100 hostages would be executed, and for every wounded one, 50 would die (Payne 458ff, Goldhagen pp 189-190 and pp 367-369, Blytas pp 418-419).

    The first mass executions took place in Crete even before the island fell to the Germans. In 1945, under the auspices of the United Nations, a committee headed by Nikos Kazantzakis enumerated the destruction of more than 106 Cretan villages and the massacre of their inhabitants (see video on Kontomari massacre). During the occupation, the Germans murdered the population of 89 Greek villages and towns (see the massacre at Distomo), while over 1,700 villages were totally or partially burned to the ground and many of their inhabitants were also executed (see the Greek Holocaust). To the Greek victims of the German reign of terror should be added about 61,000 Greek Jews who, along with about 10,000 Christians, were deported to the concentration camps and most of them never returned (Blytas p.429 and p. 446).

    Another aspect of the Greek occupation is the systematic looting of Greece’s many museums, both under orders from the occupation authorities, and as a result of the individual initiative of officers in position of command. The names of General von List, commander of the the 12th Army, of General Kohler, of the Larissa command, and of General Ringel, of the Iarakleio and Knossos command, are associated with the removal of significant archeological treasures. List was responsible for accepting as a present a beautiful ancient head of the 4th century BC, while Ringel sent back to Austria several cases of antiquities from the historic Villa Ariadne as well as boxes containing small objects from the Knossos Museum. “Officially sanctioned thefts” have been recorded at the museums of Keramikos, Chaeronea, Thessaloniki’s St. George Museum, Gortynos, Irakleio, Pireaus, Skaramangas, Faistos, Kastelli Kissamou, Larissa, Corinth, Tanagra, Megara, Thebes and many others (Blytas p. 427). What is especially tragic is that in many of these lootings, well known German archeologists provided expert guidance to the perpetrators. And although some of these antiquities were returned to Greece in 1950, the majority of the stolen museum pieces have never been traced.

    In Crete and elsewhere, local German commanders ordered the excavation and looting of many archeological sites. These excavations were carried out by German archeologists, while Greek archeologists, curators and museum inspectors were forbidden to interfere, usually under threats which could not be ignored.

    We request the German government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying war reparations proportional to the material damages, atrocities and plundering committed by the German war machinery.

    Sign the petition

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    1.Blytas, George C., The First Victory, Greece in the Second World War. Athens: Cosmos Publishing, 2009.
    2.Ciano, Galeazzo, The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943, Hugh Gibson Editor. New York: Doubleday & Co, 1946.
    3.Doxiadis, Konstantinos, Oi Thysies tis Ellados ston Deftero Pangosmio Polemo [The Sacrifices of Greece in the Second World War]. Athens: Ministry of Reconstruction, 1946.
    4.Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Hitlers’ Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. New York: Vintage Book, 1997.
    5.Iliadakis, Tasos, M., Oi Epanorthosis kai to Germaniko Katohiko Danio [The Reparations, and te German Occupation Loan]. Athens: Ekdoseis Detoraki 1997.
    6.Mazower, Marc. Inside Hitler’s Greece , The Experience of the Occupation 1941-1944. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993.
    7.Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973.
    8.Sbarounis, Athanasios I. Meletai kai Anamniseis ek tou Defterou Pangosmiou Polemou. [ Studies and Memoires from the Second World War]. Athens: Government Printing Office, 1950.

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  4. There are about 40,000 signatures so far. A person need not be greek to sign!!!! But greek wouldn’t?

  5. I think this is a good effort by Greg, but like any closed court case by the supreme court, once it’s closed it’s closed.

    I believe that once Europe took the Marshall Plan, all debt owed by Germany was finished, closed, forgiven. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Greek government at the time would also have had to sign off on this.

    So, it’s great to have this emotional plea but legally it won’t hold unfortunately.