28.02.2014 | Announcements - old en

Austerity and addiction in Athens Cuts to the social safety net in Greece mean the sick and addicted often can’t get the help they need

On Iasonos Street in downtown Athens, a popular hangout for drug addicts, 27-year-old Michalis is looking for his dealer to buy his fix.

Like most of Athens' drug users, he is constantly under pressure from police who, since last year, have tried to push drug users and sex workers out of the city centre. “Police and authorities treat us worse than animals,” Michalis claims.

“The police forcibly put people in their van,” adds 48-year-old Spiros, a fellow drug user. “Once we are in the van, they drive us some 20 kilometres out of Athens and leave us there. Sometimes they will just open the doors and kick us out onto the highway – just like a garbage bag.”

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