Business World

Saturday 3 December 2016

Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly

Rose Troup Buchanan

Published 03/07/2015 | 14:26

Sakis Mitrolidis - AFP
Sakis Mitrolidis - AFP
Sakis Mitrolidis - AFP
A municipal worker assembles a voting booth at a voting center in Athens, on Friday, July 3, 2015. The brief but intense campaign in Greece's critical bailout referendum ends Friday, with simultaneous rallies in Athens for "Yes" and "No" supporters in what an opinion poll shows will be a very close race.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Pensioners line up outside a National Bank branch to receive part of their pensions in Iraklio on the island of Crete, Greece, July 3, 2015. Long lines of pensioners jostling to get into a limited number of banks opened specially to pay out retirement benefits have become a powerful symbol of the misery facing Greece and the problems mounting for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. REUTERS/Stefanos Rapanis
A pensioner is helped by a bank manager after collapsing while waiting along with dozens of other pensioners outside a National Bank in Athens, Greece, July 2, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A supporter of the Greek Communist Party shelters from sun during a demonstration in Athens, Greece, July 3, 2015. An opinion poll on Greece's bailout referendum published on Friday pointed to a slight lead for the Yes vote, on 44.8 percent, against 43.4 percent for the No vote that the leftwing government backs. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A pensioner reacts as she obtains a priority ticket to get part of her pension outside a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece, July 1, 2015
Pro-EU protesters take part in a rally in front of the Greek parliament in Athens last week. Photo: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters
Demonstrators burn a European Union flag during a rally supporting the no vote for the upcoming referendum outside European Union office in Athens, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Pensioners line up as they wait to be allowed into a bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week, Thursday, July 2, 2015. Greece braced for more chaos on the streets outside its mostly shuttered banks Thursday, as Athens and its creditors halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A demonstrator gestures in front of a banner reading ''NO, not to fear'' during a rally by supporters of the no vote to the upcoming referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Eurozone finance ministers decided Wednesday to break off talks on more aid for Greece until after it holds a weekend referendum, even as the Greek government pressed ahead with plans to let the people decide whether to accept more austerity measures in exchange for a rescue deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally by supporters of the 'No' vote to the upcoming referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Eurozone finance ministers decided Wednesday to break off talks on more aid for Greece until after it holds a weekend referendum, even as the Greek government pressed ahead with plans to let the people decide whether to accept more austerity measures in exchange for a rescue deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Tourists visit the ancient Acropolis hill in Athens as Greek voters prepare to decide in a referendum on Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
Demonstrators destroy a European flag during a rally by supporters of the no vote to the upcoming referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Eurozone finance ministers decided Wednesday to break off talks on more aid for Greece until after it holds a weekend referendum, even as the Greek government pressed ahead with plans to let the people decide whether to accept more austerity measures in exchange for a rescue deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
On the islands of Greece, aside from limited exports, tourism is their only source of income
An employee sews while working in a factory in the city of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria July 2, 2015. Greece is the third-largest investor in Bulgaria and is also Bulgaria's fourth-largest export destination. Picture taken on July 2, 2015. To match EUROZONE-GREECE/BULGARIA REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
On the islands of Greece, aside from limited exports, tourism is their only source of income
The word 'Yes' in Greek is seen on a sticker as pro-Euro demonstrators attend a rally in front of the parliament building, in Athens, Greece, June 30, 2015. Greece's conservative opposition warned on Tuesday that Sunday's vote over international bailout terms would be a referendum over the country's future in Europe, and that wages and pensions would be threatened if people were to reject the package

A photograph of an elderly Greek man alone and weeping on the ground outside a national bank has emerged as the country's financial crisis deepens.

  • Go To

The unidentified man, whose image has been widely shared across social media, appears to have been attempting to collect his pension at the branch in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, when the photographs were shot on Friday.

On the floor next to him, the pensioner’s small book of accounts and identification can be seen lying abandoned.

Subsequent images show the man being removed from the area by security, before he gesticulates desperately at the camera.

Read more here: Despite the hubris of Greek leaders, it is appalling to see a proud nation on its knees

Greece’s leaders have been wrestling with European leaders and the IMF in order to extend desperately needed loans to prevent the country going bust.

The nation’s pensions have become one of the sticking points of discussions, with creditors asking for a reform of a creaking system.

Read more: Athens now a city of two tribes as city divided over bailout terms referendum

The elderly and young people have been among the hardest hit by Greece’s wrecked economy, with older voters swinging to the left in support of Syriza in the last election.

Although Greek banks have been closed in the past week, exceptions have been open to allow pensioners and retirees to claim an €120 down-payment on their July pension.

(© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Business