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Αthens: crisis-hit jobless without home living in caves

Filopappoy hill lays opposite from Acropolis. A pice of wild nature in the middle of the city. With trees and bushes, and hidden paths and  several caves. Small holes inside the hill,  where Athens’ new poor have found shelter. Men and women who lost their job and home due to austerity and recession. Men and women, who think better in a cave than on the street.

In an exclusive report by news portal NewsIt.gr, we read of the case of Mister Giorgos. A middle-aged man, a construction worker, exactly a marble worker, who lost his job three years ago.

With his savings he managed to pay rent and utilities for two years. But then the money was over. ” I couldn’t pay even 100 euro,” Giorgos says, adding “look, to what state we came down.”

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He had to move to the streets. One day while on the line of a church soup kitchen, he heard about the caves of Filopappou. “A man told me about the caves, I had no idea what to expect.”

He found a cave, transported some of the furniture he owned and there he moved in his new … villa in the green.

However, this villa has no fence, no watch dogs and no bodyguards. The man expresses the fear he often feels especially at night. Fear from those who could kill him for just ten euro.

“It’s very hard in the winter, when the cold comes in from all side,” Giorgos says, stressing that he definitely needs a job.

“Any job. I work with tiles and marble. Any job, so I can move to some basement…”

Giorgos resides in his self-made villa, since almost a year.

At least 15 people, among them also a couple, live in the caves of Filopappou. Some of them desperately waiting for the crisis to be over.

15 people who are left with nothing but their dignity. Better in a cave than on a street bench. Better in a cave than owing money to the landlord, the baker, the grosser or to utility companies….

more pictures and video here

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