As Greece’s debt crisis rolls on, many Greek pensioners have been living off a paltry 120 euros ($132) for nearly two weeks.
Greece last week shuttered banks and limited cash withdrawals to 60 euros ($66) per day, in an effort to stop a growing run on the banks after negotiations for a new bailout deal broke down and the country missed a loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund.
The closure of banks left many elderly Greeks who don’t have bank cards with no way to access their pensions. Greek banks threw them a lifeline last week by briefly opening their doors to allow pensioners to collect a one-off payment of 120 euros. It's unclear when pensioners will be able to get more cash from the banks, and 12 days later, their resources are stretched thin.
Greece's 2.6 million pensioners were already struggling after years of austerity measures imposed by Greece's creditors in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The average monthly pension fell from 1,350 euros ($1,494) in 2009 to just 833 euros ($922) this year, according to the BBC. At the same, pensioners were more likely to have to support younger members of their families, as unemployment rates soared to 25 percent.
For all Greeks, living off 60 euros a day is hard enough -- in fact, it’s less than half than what the average American spends in a day, according to TIME Magazine. Pensioners are even harder hit, making agonizing decisions between, for example, paying their electricity bill or medical expenses. The WorldPost took a snapshot of the estimated cost of basic goods in Athens today, to better understand just how hard living off 120 euros might be for 12 days.
Rent of a small apartment in a cheap neighborhood of Athens
Electricity bill for a small apartment
Anastasia Ioannou and Giorgos Vogiatzis sit in their kitchen lit by candlelight after their power was cut in Thessaloniki on Dec. 8, 2013. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images)
Basic cell phone plan
A man checks his phone inside his house in the Anafiotika neighborhood in Athens, June 24, 2015. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP)
People wait at a bus station near Athens' central market on June 9, 2015. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) *Public transport is currently running for free in the capital until at least July 10.
Two packets of standard painkillers
People line up outside a pharmacy on duty in Athens on March 31, 2014. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)
(milk, bread, fruit, vegetables and grains)
Shoppers stand in an aisle with empty shelves in a supermarket in Athens on July 4, 2015. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)
Live chickens on sale at Athens market, Oct. 19, 2005. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)
Men sit at a coffee shop in central Athens, July 8, 2015. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)
One bottle of (very) cheap wine
An elderly couple drive past a vineyard in the town of Nemea, west of Athens, on June 1, 2013. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)