Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Has it come to this?

Has it come to this?, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

In the early 90's the USSR collapsed and thousands of ethnic Greeks fled the warring the ex-Soviet Union republics to Greece to escape poverty, war and ethnic conflict. However, at least in the beginning most came with just what they could carry and the maximum $50 allowed in foreign exchange. In the years that followed these refugees were a common site in the street markets of Greece as they sold whatever possessions they had to earn money.

Now such sights are once again becoming more and more common on the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and other Greek cities as people, especially retirees struggle to get by on tiny pensions. It breaks your heart to see people who have worked hard for decades, struggled to raise families and carve out a life wth dignity reduced to such extremes, forced to sell childens' discarded toys, worn out shoes and their winter clothes just to survive.

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