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Portraits of Greece in Crisis

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After years of building up more than $400 billion in debt, Greece was devastated by the recent global economic crisis. Fearing the fallout from a Greek bankruptcy, fellow Eurozone members provided aid packages -- under strict conditions, including the adoption of severe austerity measures. Greece is entering a fifth straight year of recession, its economy poised to shrink another 5 percent in 2012. Average unemployment is at a record 21.8 percent -- with youth unemployment (under 25) at 51 percent. Years of increasingly difficult conditions have hit the citizens of Greece hard, and the uncertainty and frustration have led some to flee, a few to take their own lives. Collected here are images from a nation in the midst of a deepening crisis. [43 photos]

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Dimitris Stamatakos, 36, sits in a field on land he is renting near his home in the village of Krokeae in the Peloponesse area of Greece, on March 18, 2012. Before the crisis Stamatakos was able to make a living by selling olives that he farmed on the land he owns, now he is forced to work for neighboring farms and do odd jobs to earn his living. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Dimitris Stamatakos, 36, sits in a field on land he is renting near his home in the village of Krokeae in the Peloponesse area of Greece, on March 18, 2012. Before the crisis Stamatakos was able to make a living by selling olives that he farmed on the land he owns, now he is forced to work for neighboring farms and do odd jobs to earn his living. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
The setting sun illuminates buildings in Athens, Greece, on March 15, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Aris Christodoulou, 39, a martial arts instructor, poses for a picture in his gymnasium in Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Christodoulou replied, "My clients cannot meet the subscription fees and me and my partners aren't taking a wage". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Members of the Greek Communist Party shout slogans during a rally against the austerity measures in Athens, on March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A padlock on the entrance of an abandoned factory in the industrial area at Komotini town in northern Greece, on March 3, 2012. After more than 30 years as a factory worker, Dimitris Manikas a former employee of a trash can company based in the same area, was dreaming of retirement and plans to get married for the third time when a redundancy notice blew his hopes away. Laid off from his job, the 52-year-old father of two called off his wedding -- even though he had bought the wedding bands. Without any income, he feared his house would be next to go. Driven to despair, Manikas on Thursday barged into the factory whose name he had tattoed on his forearm, to turn a hunting rifle on his former boss and another worker, injuring them both. He then held three people hostage, surrendering only after 11 hours of negotiations with police. (Reuters/Grigoris Siamidis) #
Phoevos Doudonis, 37, an actor/singer, poses for a picture in front of the Acropolis in Athens March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Duodonis replied, "up to April 2011 I was making a good living as an actor and singer but I have been finding it difficult since then to find any work. Fees have been cut by 70-80% and some theatres don't pay at all. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Afghan immigrants jump from an abandoned rail car to catch the train for Athens in Orestiada, on April 9, 2012. Human rights groups have heavily criticized Greece over the the building of a six-mile-long fence topped with razor wire, and for plans to intern illegal immigrants in former military bases pending deportation. The debt-crippled country is the European Union's main entry point for illegal immigrants, mostly from Asia and Africa. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Protesters run from police after hurling petrol bombs during violent anti-austerity demonstration in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. Historic cinemas, cafes and shops went up in flames in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers endorsed a new EU/IMF austerity deal. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Nick Boudas, 54, a bread delivery man, poses for a picture near the village of Filiatra, on March 23, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Boudas replied, "I lost my job, I lost everything." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
The sun sets behind volcanic islands seen from the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea, on March 14, 2012. Greek tourism revenues could drop by up to 5 percent in 2012 due to a fall in pre-bookings from Germany, an industry official told Reuters, denting hopes the key sector will help pull the country out of the financial crisis. Greece has been hoping that tourism, which accounts for about 15 percent of GDP and employs roughly a fifth of the country's 4 million workforce, will boost its bleak economic prospects. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
A woman places a candle at the site where 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas fatally shot himself at Athens' main Syntagma square, on April 4, 2012. The Greek pensioner picked the busiest public area in Athens to commit suicide on Wednesday, leaving a note which police said linked his suicide with the country's acute financial woes. Notes pinned to the tree read: "Austerity kills," "Government of murderers," and "Enough." (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
Mourners chant slogans in front of the coffin containing the body of Dimitris Christoulas, in Athens, on April 7, 2012, who committed suicide in a central Athens square Wednesday. In a suicide note, he claimed the economic crisis affecting Greece had "destroyed" him. Hundreds attended the ceremony at an Athens cemetery. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
Passers-by cast shadows on pavement near a pool of blood following an attack on a policeman by protesters in Athens' main Syntagma Square, on April 7 2012. A protest march that followed a memorial service for Dimitris Christoulas turned violent with marchers beating a policeman and stealing his uniform, bulletproof vest, handcuffs and radio. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #
Christina Tchatchou, 30, an actress/singer, poses for a picture in her bedroom in Athens, on March 27, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Tchatchou replied, "I haven't been that affected as I didn't get paid that much before anyway. However I get less work than I did." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A hammer thrower leaves a training area at the Agios Cosmas sports facilities in southern Athens, on April 3, 2012. The head of Greece's athletics federation said that the body is considering suspending its operations due to deep cuts in state funding over the past two years. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A man walks by a wall adorned with graffiti in Athens, on march 8, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #
Dimitris Kazakos, 31, a waiter, poses in the Placa area of Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Kazakos replied, "It's dramatically changed my life. People think twice about eating out and leaving a tip." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Natassa Papakonstantinou, 43, calls a recruitment agency from her apartment in Kifisia, a suburb of Athens, on March 14, 2012. Natassa lost her telecom services job of 12 years in August of 2011, and was not paid for the last six months. She is now living off her savings and 461 euros ($611) from the government per month. When her savings run out in August she must leave her flat. She spends several hours a day searching and applying for jobs on the internet but still has not found any. Natassa is unable to afford to socialize much and has no family so she spends long periods of time alone. She says "I don't even listen to music much now. I used to love it but in the bad times of your life you forget about your hobbies." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A visitor looks at antiquities at the National Archeological museum in Athens, on March 18, 2012. Faced with massive public debt as it moves into a fifth year of recession, Greece is finding that its fabled antiquity heritage is proving a growing burden. "Greece's historic remains have become our curse," whispered an archaeologist worried about budgets that are nonexistent or badly stretched. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Leonidas Polymenokos, 40, stands near a production bay in his family's olive oil factory near the village of Lagio in the Peloponesse area of Greece, on March 21, 2012. The factory which he runs with his three brothers first started production in 2000. Business is going well and they would like to expand. However this is proving difficult as they are finding it hard to get the necessary loans from the banks. When asked about the economic crisis in Greece he says, "we are all boiling in the same pot". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Customers crowd a truck to buy cheap sacks of potatoes sold directly by farmers at cost price in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki, on March 2, 2012. Farmers in northern Greece have joined forces with local residents to provide cheap produce to the people, who make orders by email, and also to help producers who say they are being squeezed by middlemen. Similar "solidarity" actions have started to be organized in other Greek cities. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images) #
George Andrianakis, 56, stands on the back of his pickup truck with one of his goats in the yard of his farm in the village of Stafania, Greece, on March 21, 2012. Andrianakis lives with his wife Athina, 48, and sons Dimitris, 24, and Panagiotis, 21. They all help with the milking of the goats and sheep as well as the harvesting of orange and olive trees, but his profit margins are down by almost 50 percent with production costs rising by almost 30 percent. He says: "I am surviving rather than living". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A drug addict lays on the ground in central Athens. Addicts have been a presence in Athens city center for more than 20 years, but with the recent crisis, things are getting worse for them, according to Philippos Dragoumis, president of a municipal center for prevention. (Iakovos Chatzistavrou/AFP/Getty Images) #
People make their way around the coastal town of Patra in the Peloponnese area of Greece, on March 25, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Pauline Delli, 32, a psychiatric nurse, poses in the street outside her place of work in Athens, on March 27, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Delli replied, "I am just living day to day and not thinking about the future." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Sostis, a 60 year-old former sailor and the only human inhabitant of the volcanic islet of Palaia Kameni located in the caldera of Santorini, enters the Saint Nicolas church, on March 17, 2012. Initial data shows pre-bookings for the high summer season from Germany, which accounts for about 14 percent of Greece's total number of visitors, are down 20-30 percent. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Dasalakis Theodoros, 60, a taxi driver, poses for a picture in front of his taxi at the port in Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Theodoros replied, "I share the taxi with my son so we can work 24 hours a day between us to make things work." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
An employee at the state-run Workers' Housing Organization (OEK) crouches on a ledge while threatening to jump as a colleague speaks to her, in central Athens, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. The woman was fired as the agency was due to be shut as part of sweeping new austerity measures demanded by Greece's EU-IMF rescue creditors. After hours of negotiations, the woman was brought to safety as she came in from the balcony. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A woman receives a free meal during a soup kitchen organized by a Greek humanitarian group in Athens' main Syntagma square, on April 1 2012. Greece's austerity cutbacks have deepened the economic recession, and torn holes in the country's social fabric. Unemployment has hit a record high of 21 percent, and thousands of Greeks depend on church and municipal soup kitchens for sustenance. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #
Christos Vassiliou, 79, retired sausage maker, poses for a picture in a shopping center in central Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Vassiliou replied, "my pension has been cut by 250 euros ($334) a month. If it continues like this I will be thrown out of my house because I can't afford my rent." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A stray dog barks at riot police during a high school students' anti-austerity protest in Athens, on February 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A man drinks coffee in front of a mural near the coastal town of Kalamatta in the Messinia area of Greece, on March 23, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
George Kanlopoulos, 55, a guide, mechanic and hotelier, poses for a picture in his garage at the town of Sparta, in the Peloponnese area of Greece, on March 20, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Kanlopoulos replied, "I haven't been affected as much as others because I am a mountain guide as well as a mechanic and hotel owner. This means I have more options." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A disused basketball court in a field on the Greek - Turkish border outside Orestiada, northern Greece, on April 09, 2012. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Voula Stamatakos, 72, a housewife, poses for a picture in her home in the village of Krokeae, Greece, on March 18, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Stamatakos replied, "My pension has been cut but I try to stay positive." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Dimitris Stamatakos, 36, is pictured with his wife Voula, 32, and son Elias, 1, in the living room of their home in the village of Krokeae, on March 18, 2012. Before the crisis Stamatakos was able to make a living by selling olives that he farmed on the land he owns, now he is forced to work for neighboring farms and do odd jobs to earn his living. The crisis is also putting a strain on his marriage to his wife Voula, 32. He says, "I fight with my wife a lot about money. She thinks I should be doing more. What more can I do? I'm just getting by." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
A blind protester shouts against anti-austerity measures during a protest near the Prime Ministers office in Athens, on February 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #
Asimina, a 70-year-old pensioner, gathers laundry on the terrace of her home with the ancient Acropolis seen in the background in Athens, on March 2, 2012. Asimina, who identified herself only by her first name, said she lives with her husband on a combined monthly income of 600 euros ($793) from a state pension, and says a series of emergency taxes imposed by the crisis-hit country's government have made daily life difficult. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
A man takes the stairs of the empty Athens metro station during a 4-hour strike on March 28, 2012 in protest of the austerity measures aiming at streamlining public transportation. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #
(1 of 4) George Kapetanios (right) poses for a photograph with his wife Katarina Germanou (center) and their daughter Paraskevi Kapetanios in Potters Bar, on the outskirts of London, England, on March 5, 2012. Put out of business in Greece by a shrinking economy that has been crushed by the eurozone crisis, unable to find work at home and desperate to stay afloat financially, Kapetanios, his wife and daughter moved to London months ago so the parents could find work. Now they are hoping for a brief taste of their former family life when stepson Thanos Kehagias, who remained in Greece to finish his university studies, comes for a visit. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
(2 of 4) George Kapetanios in the kitchen of Ta Dilina Greek restaurant in north London where he works as a chef, on February 29, 2012. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
(3 of 4) Paraskevi Kapetanios poses for a photograph at a coffee shop in Potters Bar, on the outskirts of London, on March 5, 2012. Unable to find work at home in Greece, Paraskevi's parents moved to London months ago so they could find work. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
(4 of 4) 23-year-old Thanos Kehagias holds his mother's dog Vagos as he poses for a picture outside his student flat close to the university where he is studying mechanical engineering in the Greek city of Patra, on March 26, 2012. Thanos Kehagias said he has made peace with his parents' decision to take his sister and leave him behind while they made a new start in London. He said he lives on just over 6 euros ($7.87) per day and can only afford one daily meal at the cheap university restaurant. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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