A survey conducted by an Athens-based think tank has delivered shocking results about poverty in Greece. The survey found that people living in extreme poverty amount to 13.6 per cent of the population, down from 15 per cent in 2015, 15.7 per cent in 2014 and 17.1 per cent in 2013 (it should be noted that in 2009, before the country entered the bailout program, only two per cent of the population was living in extreme poverty). Despite the falling trend, the survey showed that one and a half million people in Greece live in conditions of extreme poverty.
The majority of these people are the chronically unemployed and the young. As is common all the years since Greece entered the crisis, most of the ‘new’ extreme poverty phenomenon is due to the rise in unemployment. The survey found that over a million Greek citizens were unemployed in 2016, of which only 127,000 were receiving regular unemployment benefits. This accounts for 11.2 per cent of unemployed being on the dole, falling down from 35.1 per cent in 2011.
Conducted by non-profit research and policy institute diaNEOsis the survey was an update of previous research published in June 2016. This time, researchers were able to record poverty in different geographic regions of Greece, finding that extreme poverty is lower in rural areas than urban places, which are densely populated. The regions least affected are Crete, Ipirus, Peloponese, and the Aegean Islands, while Central Macedonia, Thessaly, and western Greece are those mostly plagued by poverty.