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'The people in Greece are scared of what will happen'

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A voter casts his ballot in front of a map of Greece at a polling station in Athens. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

A voter casts his ballot in front of a map of Greece at a polling station in Athens. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Getty Images

A voter casts his ballot in front of a map of Greece at a polling station in Athens. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

On a dusty street corner in a grimy port on the outskirts of Athens, a public health crisis that has no precedent in Europe is unfolding.

After five years of unrelenting austerity, doctors working in a charity-run clinic are witnessing daily what they never thought they would see in their careers: children and adults suffering from malnutrition.

In Perama, one of the poorest parts of Athens, unemployment has reached 60pc and many families do not have enough money for food. The town has been hammered by the unremitting tax rises, pension cuts and other austerity measures introduced by the government at the behest of its international creditors.

As 10 million Greeks voted yesterday in the election, it was austerity and its devastating effects on the country that underpinned the political debate.

Syriza insists that the austerity policies of the last five years, which were designed to shake up the Greek economy and create growth, have only brought misery, a contraction in economic output on a par with the darkest years of the Great Depression in the US in the 1930s.

"People are very anxious, very scared," said Dr George Tomaras (38), a paediatrician who works at the Pereama clinic. "They don't know how to vote. They don't see solutions from any of the parties."

"The health system in Greece does not exist any more. There are hospitals with no medicines or surgical instruments and clinics with no doctors," said Liana Maili, the director of the clinic. "We are starting to see polio and measles come back." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk