Austerity is tough. Greeks are suffering:
– unemployment rates have steadied, but they are still sky-high (26.8%);
– youth unemployment is devastating (75% in some areas);
– depression and suicide rates – previously among the lowest in Europe – are at record highs (a least a 37% increase between 2009-2011);
– infant mortality rates have risen 40% between 2008-2010;
– Greece is suffering the largest malaria outbreak in 40 years, as mosquito-spraying budgets were cut.
The confluence of corruption, austerity, bad governance, and more is transforming Greece into a third-world nation. Please pray for Greece and the Greek people.
On top of all of this, asylum seekers often experience this austerity in devastating ways. Not only are they searching for increasingly scarce resource (whether jobs, housing, or charity), immigrants and asylum seekers often find themselves on the wrong end of expressions of Greek frustration and anger. Neo-Nazi groups (e.g. Golden Dawn) are capitalizing on this angst – transforming it into political power and unbridled violence towards non-Greeks.
This CNN video explores some of the pressures immigrants and asylum seekers face today in Greece. Please pray for refugees and asylum seekers in Greece.