The unfortunate on “the other side of Greece”

I’ve mentioned many times over the years when writing about Skopelos during the financial crisis that this is a rich island compared with other Greek communities which do not benefit from tourism. Everything is relative, of course, and there are some tourism hot spots which are better off and places which are not.

Those Greek communities (and social classes therein) which do not benefit at all from tourism are taking the brunt of the mandates from Greece’s “lenders”. Some of these areas are big cities and some are tiny towns in the countryside. Unless they travel to the mainland as well, visitors to Skopelos rarely confront images “austerity”. Everything is good.

A reporter from the newspaper “Thessalia” (link in Greek) took a 4 minute stroll the other day along Rigas Feraiou street in Volos from Karaiskaki St. to Ogl St. – the distance of about 10 blocks Volos style (600 m /0.36 miles) and reported seeing 5 individuals scrounging fruit and vegetables left behind after the nearby street market. Some gathered fruit that had toppled into the street as well as from crates stacked on the curbside waiting for removal by garbage truck.

One merchant said that he regularly sees new faces in the group of people waiting for the market to close to take whatever is left behind.

Though there are rubbish bins nearby, most sellers humanely leave their unwanted fruit crated and stacked by the roadside. The Farmer’s Market Association president says that some members transport fruit and vegetables to a central food bank to help people. Sometimes leftovers are taken to a church for distribution.


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