The austerity effect

The austerity effect, Socrates Baltagiannis

Greece, since 2009 is undergoing a period of heavy and deep economic crisis. In 2010, the then Greek government, turned for help to the EU and the IMF and the agreement on financial rescue packages to prevent the country from bankruptcy, was inextricably linked to severe austerity measures.

The inability of the governments so far to handle the crisis with substantial reforms, have resulted in more economic rescue packages and in more austerity measures. But the most important thing is that it has managed to make Greek people experiencing probably the worst situation they have been found in after the IIWW.
Twenty percent of the Greek population now lives below the poverty line, the middle class is almost extinct due to the high taxation, unemployment hits record levels with that of young people (15-24) to reach 60%. In 2011, according to the NGO “KLIMAKA”, occurred the largest number of suicides (477) for the last 50 years in Greece and the number of homelessness has greatly increased over the last three years, reaching unprecedented levels when speaking of a country with one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world (71%). Adding the migration problem, layoffs in the public sector, closed shops, and a welfare state which is now nonexistent, someone can easily understand why in central Athens, have been occurred some of the most massive demonstrations which often ending with violent clashes with the police.
Athens amid crisis is a city dull and miserable and for someone who knew Athens or who had visited the city before, walking on it’s streets again will see that is no longer the same city he used to know.

Q&A with Socrates Baltagiannis

Photography is…
At the end it might be just a game with time and light, but a game with a tremendous impact in our society and our world.

Photography and writing…
A great combination. However, I still try to make it work!

Who left the biggest impression on you?
Apart of my family, life itself impresses me all the time… I don’t know… is that sound cliche?

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Athens, Greece; a mad city that I love and where I still live in. I study and worked as a graphic designer for some time but photography won me for good. Other than that I am trying to make my name worthy of my ancestor Socrates the philosopher… just kidding…

Socrates-BaltagiannisSocrates Baltagiannis ( was born in Athens, Greece in 1979. Although photography was always in the back of his head, he studied and worked as a graphic designer until 2011. A self-taught photographer, in 2009 he began taking part in seminars and workshops on photography and photojournalism trying to expand his knowledge on the medium. Since then he has been working as a freelance photographer, mainly in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography. Many of his images have been published in reputed and prominent newspapers and journals and he is collaborated with Invision-images photo agency.


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