Thousands struggle in poverty

One in four Greeks has trouble paying for basic needs and one in five lives below the poverty line, according to research by the National Center for Social Research (EKKE) made public in Sunday’s Kathimerini. Using guidelines on social exclusion set by the European Union, EKKE found that 25.3 percent of Greeks have difficulty paying their utility bills, a week-long vacation or any meat, fish or vegetables to eat every second day. According to EKKE’s study, only 42 percent of Greeks are in a position to say they are not socially excluded in some way. The EU has 11 criteria for measuring social exclusion, including poverty, poor quality housing, low level of education, difficult access to jobs and a polluted living environment. Almost 18 percent of Greek men and 36 percent of women fall into three or more of these categories. Although half of those who fulfill three or more criteria for social exclusion are unemployed, over 16 percent have steady jobs. Meanwhile, about a tenth of Greeks live in polluted areas, EKKE found.