In Greece, the confusion of “new poor”

Soupe populaire distribuée par des bénévoles de l’Eglise orthodoxe, à Athènes.

They are reluctant to tell their life, the Athenians who line up to enter the dining room at Galini center, in a few minutes – to 13 hours – will open its doors for a third service. They are very young, they look tired, dressed neatly and sometimes very quaint. Men have a backpack, a women bag under his arm. And they wait. A little shy, a little wild, astounded, mostly ending up there. For there is three, or two, or they had a job or something to eat on their own.

They no longer recognize their lives. They come to the soup kitchen. Like thousands of Athenians. The statistics are not precise, but they press more each month and the free supply points is now in the hundreds. How to be surprised? 35% of Greeks now live below the poverty line.

Inside, volunteers twirl between the beautifully laid tables under large icons. Quick, put one hand up in front of each melon and nourishing soup beans. Meat is excluded anyway on Friday, local belongs to the Orthodox Church. For dessert, there will be an ice lolly. An unexpected arrival, a small luxury that will delight everyone. In fifteen minutes, everything will be over. And we will draw up the tables for a fourth service with 400 the number of daily meals offered at the center. Some moms will meanwhile sneaked into the kitchen for us to fill their pot. They and their families will give the illusion of having cooked themselves.

Over 5,500 meals delivered every day

“We do not realize what is happening in this country said Xenia Papastavrou, a young mother who abandoned journalism to think of a way to implement solidarity in order to feed the poor. The crisis worsened and people tumbled at once, it can go very, very fast, you know! “ organizations exist, such as the food bank to which she has worked. But Xenia Papastavrou was obsessed with the idea that too much fresh produce is discarded each day as they would the happiness of those who are hungry. “A bakery throws on average 30 kg of bread not sold in late afternoon . Is this not absurd, when someone got up at 4 am to make bread and families in need 4 minutes from the store? Connect them seemed obvious. “

So she started to appeal on the Internet, which was answered by craftsmen, stores of fresh and associations that they were in demand for food. Then she is stubborn, Facebook and Twitter, saying the time had come in Greece to rethink things. We could not wait mirobolantes aid falling from the sky and it was time to become aware of what was in the garbage. She carefully chose the name of the association that was to bear his message: Boroume (“We”). Because that’s all the Greek people, she said, who must live differently. The daily Kathimerini was interested in his approach and the article has set fire to the powder.

“Attitudes have changed in Greece, said Xenia Papastavrou, founder of food aid association. Even the middle class feels the wire. All waste is indecent “

all sides flocked product offerings and call for help. A supermarket chain reorganized the management of inventories and stored in special refrigerators that could be distributed each evening. Artisans, gardeners, restaurateurs, caterers, hoteliers, fast food chains, Ikea restaurants and bakeries Paul. In short, all kinds of partners entered the dance to offer their help. While canteens, shelters, shelters, schools, orphanages, senior centers, religious organizations and municipal services timidly pointed nose to express needs. This was exactly what Xenia dream: making the connection, be a bridge. And increasingly, playing conductors. For four years, more than a thousand partners who gathered and working together through Boroume, delivering every day, throughout Greece, more than 5,500 meals. The first hold the available products, the second pick. We just pay attention to their geographical proximity and good balance between supply and need.

“Attitudes have changed in Greece estimates organizer. Even the middle class feels the wire. All waste is indecent. “ The companies organizing conferences and seminars have the reflex to ask that distribute the remains of dinners and cocktails. The International Maritime Exhibition Posidonia, with its dozens of events generated at the origin of food surplus of more than 2,000 meals. Family mothers also called to offer the remains of a birthday party for their child. Or a bride to prevent her wedding party, held in the island of Sifnos, will result in an excess of food she would like to donate. “For us to prevent the municipality of the island, every day, 40 people already using. Forty meals are perhaps the key. “ Powerful foundations such as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, reaching out now, lovers of Greece, the Greeks of the Diaspora.

” New poor stunned and angry “

“The number of poor people without enough to eat has increased by 5 or 6 in four years, Xenia remark. The new poor stunned and angry. Who would shout their distress and punish someone. But how to do it? How to say no to this life that does not smiled? The occasion of the referendum is a boon for them. “ They will vote no, she thinks.

This is the case of Tasos Golemis, a handsome man of 46 years in infinitely soft look, you meet family support center of the Athens Archbishopric. He has a good education before finding a job in a multinational company that manufactured furniture. Then one day, his salary was not paid. Or the next month. Or the one after. The company closed and he found himself unemployed, his wife, nurse, pregnant with their first child. He did not doubt then that he would find work. And he borrowed 4,000 euros in the bank to fund surgery and childbirth of his wife for which the doctor claimed a fakelaki (baksheesh) 1 000. Paid only 3/5 e of his salary during her maternity leave, his wife returned to work immediately. And the new father, desperately seeking odd jobs to black, basically did, he said, babysitting.

A second child was born, then a third. The grandfather, a retired teacher, has put most of his pension of 800 euros available to the couple whose budget was further reduced because taxes have suspected of concealing resources and called him 5000 euros, while that the salary of the nurse was cut in half, barely reaching 750 euros. Death in the soul, Tasos resolved to go seek help. Food. Then clothes, medicine, toys. He stands right but he does not know what to expect. What, seriously hope. He said that life goes on, and being a house husband who made incredible pirouettes to feed her children was not what he had dreamed.

Then, since for once it is asked his opinion, he will vote no to the referendum. Not in this life. Not to the crisis. Not all politicians whose promises were empty. This is not the issue? Whatever. This will be his response.

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