Greeks Withdraw Cash from Banks Only to Be Robbed at Home

This article is from the archive of our partner .

In one of the more disturbing trends you'll hear out of Greece: More and more people are withdrawing their life savings from banks they think are unsafe ... only to see all that cash swiped in a spike in home burglaries. 

"No one knows just how much cash lies stashed in Greek homes, secreted in cupboards, at the back of the ice-box, beneath the floor or under the mattress," write Reuters' Renee Maltezou and Peter Graff.  "But by any guess it is well in the billions, and burglars are after their share of loot which is both highly portable and virtually impossible to recover."

Unfortunately, this is the latest and saddest trend for a people who have, in the past few months, desperately resorted to opening up illegal pawn shops to sell their goods and have seen their college-educated youth become farmers and fisherman to make a living.  Maltezou and Graff report on the desperation: 

"People have already taken their money out of the bank. The rest are doing it now because they are afraid we will be kicked out of the euro zone," said one police officer.

Among cases he said he had come across in the past week: a man reported 30,000 euros in cash and gold stolen from a storage room next to his house and an elderly woman had her life savings of 100,000 euros stolen from her apartment.

That woman's home also happened to be packed full of cartons of long-life milk and boxes of pasta - in case, she explained, the economic crisis led to food shortages.

For the full report, head on over to Reuters.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.