How much money do you need to feed your child and provide it with basic needs like housing, electricity, heating, water, clothes and shoes? You certainly need much more than the benefits you may receive from the austerity-ridden Greek Welfare. Struggling to cope with the challenges of life and earn the daily bread, may soon overwhelm you and you stop giving a dam, you lose control of your life and responsibilities…
It was the ongoing crying of a child coming from an apartment that alarmed the neighbors in Agios Georgios district in the center of the city of Larissa in Central Greece. They called the police.
The men of law and order broke into the apartment with a court order and saw a six year old girl crying in the middle of garbage, food rests and strong smell with cockroaches running around.
The child was alone in the apartment the mother was absent. The single mother had recently found a job in a factory and she was leaving her daughter alone to earn a living for both of them.
The little girl had no external injuries, she was probably crying because she was alone in the hell’s kitchen.
She was taken to the Pediatric Clinic of Larissa where she underwent preventive medical tests and was fed normally.
With an express decision issued by the local prosecutor, the 32-year-old mother lost the custody over her daughter for “having neglected a minor”.
The little girl will remain in the Pediatric Clinic until an institution for children will be found where the child will be transferred and hosted.
According to local media citing police sources, “the investigation showed that the single mother and the child were living in poverty as the welfare benefits were not sufficient to cover basic needs. As there was no other help around, the mother got recently a job in a factory and she was just leaving the child alone at home during her shifts.”
Greek media speak of “appalling conditions” and of a “hovel” for a home.
But KTG wishes, neighbors, police and prosecutors had earlier showed “preventive” interest before the situation got out of control. But this happens in Greece not very often. And, no, there are hardly welfare institutions to give shelter to overwhelmed mothers and their neglected children.