Greek Pensioners Are Surviving On Just 120 Euros. Here's What That Buys.

Greek Pensioners Are Surviving On Just 120 Euros. Here's What That Buys.
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Pensioners holding their queue numbers try to enter into a bank in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen Wednesday to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Pensioners holding their queue numbers try to enter into a bank in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen Wednesday to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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

€90

Electricity bill for a small apartment

€25

greece power cut

Basic cell phone plan

€15

greece phone

Public transport

Currently €0*

greece bus*Public transport is currently running for free in the capital until at least July 10.

Two packets of standard painkillers

€8

greece pharmacy

Basic groceries

(milk, bread, fruit, vegetables and grains)

€72

greece grocery

Two chickens

€6.5

greece chickens

Greek coffee

€2

greece coffee

One bottle of (very) cheap wine

€1.5

greece wine

Total: 220 euros

Greek pensioners: 100 euros short

Before You Go

AFP/Getty Images/Sakis Mitrolidis
Electoral workers prepare ballot boxes in a warehouse in Thessaloniki, Greece, on July 2, 2015, ahead of Sunday's economic referendum.
AFP/Getty Images/Angelos Tzortzinis
Municipal workers carry ballot boxes into a warehouse in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming referendum.
AFP/Getty Images/Angelos Tzortzinis
Ballot boxes for the upcoming referendum are stored in a warehouse in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015.
AFP/Getty Images/Angelos Tzortzinis
Municipal workers carry ballot boxes into a warehouse in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming referendum.
AFP/Getty Images/Sakis Mitrolidis
Electoral workers prepare ballot boxes in a warehouse in Thessaloniki, Greece, on July 2, 2015, ahead of the upcoming referendum.
AFP/Getty Images/Angelos Tzortzinis
Municipal workers store booths in a warehouse in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming referendum.
AFP/Getty Images/Louisa Gouliamaki
Youths chant slogans supporting the "no" vote for the upcoming referendum in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015.
AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
A man passes out a leaflet reading in Greek "Vote NO in the referendum, Down with the EU" in Athens, Greece, on July 2, 2015

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