From handling untold riches to 250 euros a month

Victor Sariyiannidis eventually got his Greek passport back eight years ago. Nothing was made easy for him. Despite problems walking, he had to go through the same difficulties as every other ethnic Greek «repatriated» from the former Soviet Union. Once he finished that process, he applied to the Culture Ministry to obtain the pension granted to repatriated graduates, submitting along with his qualifications the awards he has received as well as copies of his 20 books. However, he ended up in another desert – that of the Greek state’s bureaucracy. Only after the efforts of mediators was he able to obtain, five years ago, a paltry pension from the farmers’ fund of 192 euros a month, to add to the 55 euros he receives from the Russian state every month. A man who once handled treasures of inestimable value now has to depend on the kindness of others.