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Greece homeless crisis escalates

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 - 01:40

Jan. 18 - Unable to pay their debts, a new wave of homeless Greeks have been forced onto the streets stretching government resources even further. Simon Hanna reports.

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This is a sight which has become more and more common on the streets of Greece. The rise in homelessness is being attributed to those who have been hit by the economic crisis and become unemployed. Greece's Deputy Health Minister says this is a new category of homeless person for the country. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER MARKOS BOLARIS: "In the last months we have now added a new category, what we call the 'new homeless'. In other words citizens who became unemployed and could not pay their bills, so they were evicted. This is a new profile for Greek society." One NGO estimates the number of homeless in the country has risen by 25 percent since 2009. The increase has stretched Greek resources to the limit. This shelter for homeless people is run by the church. Father Ignatius says the government has mishandled the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) FATHER IGNATIUS WHO RUNS THE SHELTER: "We don't have the room; the problem has grown and increased. The needs are great, but there is little charity because of the way the state and its leaders have handled things and destroyed everything." The pressure on shelters like these shows little signs of easing. Unemployment in Greece is now over 18 percent, while 20 percent of the population is threatened with poverty. Simon Hanna, Reuters.

Greece homeless crisis escalates

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 - 01:40

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