George Soros has extended his financial support for Greece by establishing the first in a series of “solidarity centres” for those worst-hit by the country’s economic crisis.
The opening of the centre in the northern city of Thessaloniki comes as ever more Greeks are forced to turn to charities for help.
“Greece, to a great degree, has become a failed state,” said Aliki Mouriki, a sociologist at the National Centre for Social Research. “It is unable to provide basic facilities for its citizens because of budget cuts.
“In the absence of public welfare, and with around one and a half million officially unemployed, growing numbers are looking for substitutes elsewhere.”
The centre – a hub for NGOs offering health care and legal counsel – has been deluged with requests only days after opening its doors.
Soros committed $1m for heating oil last year after local mayors, unable to heat schools, appealed for help. Among them was Tassos Karabatos, mayor of Naoussa, also in northern Greece, who turned to the US investor after taking the unprecedented step of shutting down all 54 schools in his municipality when he saw that oil tanks were running dry.
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