by Katerina Ioannidou
According to EU data, 3 out of 4 European citizens consider that homeless people have been radically increased in their home countries within the last 3 years. This perception is especially intense in the countries of central and Eastern Europe as well as in Greece and Spain. Even the EU, which tends to keep track of everything, cannot give accurate data for not just Greece, but for the total of the EU as well.
Eurostat refers to 20.000 homeless for Greece in 2011 (raised by 25% since 2009). EU Parliamentarians mention about 30.000, while even more are reported by NGO’s. This phenomenon, which was an issue for the capital alone, is currently intense in urban areas as well (Trikala, Irakleio, Chania).
Moreover, the demographic characteristics of the homeless are changing: They used to be drug addicts, mentally sick and generally people with socially deviant behavior. Today they are ex employees of the middle class, with higher education and with an increasing tendency younger.
The economic development is being postponed and the conditions of economic enhancement require the adoption of further austerity measures.
In the end not only the body remains homeless but one’s dignity as well…
«Blind is someone who pretends not to know
that he is drinking from the dark well,
who makes a need out of anything that eats him alive
or hides it in the back yard to be forgotten»
Lyrics: Thanasis Papakonstantinou
EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review – June 2012 (2012)