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Athens Homeless: Voters of a Lesser God

That’s an interesting report about the homeless in Athens, published by Greek blog PrezaTV short before the elections on May 6th. The report is in so far worth reading, because it demonstrates a weak point of the pre-elections campaign: that not one political party running for the elections contest addresses a permanent increasing social problem: the rising numbers of homeless people.  Among them many Neo-Homeless Greeks: former descent people who lost job, home, life and dreams plagued by the economic crisis.

“Strolling through the hell triangle of downtown Athens (Monastiraki, Syntagma, Omonia) demonstrates the magnitude of the problem of the homeless. Holograms of people, spooled between rotten card-boards and blankets, right next to an empty cup. Sometimes standing, sometimes fallen… but never full. Their only chance to get something to eat and secure their survival.”

Paasage of Metro station <Monastiraki >provides temporary shelter to some 20 people, who sleep there every night: Two couples, many middle-aged, some seniors, few drug addicted in wretched conditions.

A recent European Commission report on the social situation in the EU, stated that the number of homeless in Greece rose by 25%  during the years 2009-2011. Michael Katsimitsis, from NGO  “O Politis/The Citizen” told Athens News Agency, that the number of homeless only in Athens reached 15,000 people. Among those were people who lost their jobs and were forced to live either at friends’ or relatives’ homes or on the streets.

During last winter 10 homeless people lost their lives across the country due to the harsh weather conditions. So far state facilities for the homeless are minimal. During the low temperatures in winter municipalities offer a place over the night at sports centres. What happens during the extraordinary hot summer days? What if a homeless is in need of care? Where could homeless take a shower? Permanent centers for homeless in big cities is needed but no government has taken so far any initiative in this direction.

PS What? 15,000 voters and nobody cares about them? Do homeless vote anyway?

 Wait until their number has doubled or tripled by the next elections…..

KTG articles on Homeless

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