A traveller In Greece Sent Us These Depressing Pictures, And Explained Why The Economy Is A Wreck

Greece Depression Graffiti Warning

The economic crisis in Greece continues to weigh on the country’s 11.3 million citizens — with Prime Minister Samaras desperately trying to secure additional time to get the nation’s books in order.

A Business Insider reader travelling in Thessaloniki, Greece submitted pictures of his travels through the country this week.

If nothing else, the images are a reminder that the renewed conversation Eurozone leaders are having over the Greek bailout has massive impact on a very human face.

The reader sent us a note, which we’ve edited just a little bit for typos and clarity:

After 9 days in the Balkans, I can tell you, a common currency is a stupid idea. The one place we were not spending at all was Greece. Not just because they can’t devalue themselves, but because they don’t have any products. I spent 30 minutes in a grocery store. Every single thing they sell is imported, except olive oil.

They are trying to sell 100-dollar Italian Carrerra sunglasses for 200EUR to unemployed Greek people. Dead end. Only thing is cheap is accommodation. We paid 70USD / night in a 5* hotel. Istanbul’s Four Seasons at the Bosporus was more expensive, but everybody had a job there, were doing something. Even selling paper tissues or bottled water on the streets. It doesn’t matter. If you have a product in a 13 million city, you will make money.

Back to currencies: We drove up to Bulgaria, and became millionaires. And yes we started spending money. Same thing in Romania. So I say back to drachma or be prepared for a 20-year-long depression.

It’s a little crude, but… there’s something there.

Our reader traveled to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece with a population over 800,000.

What he saw: Boarded up and abandoned residential and commercial buildings...

...vacant retailers...

...and graffiti everywhere. Look at the side wall where these cars are parked.

Which is why developers have let buildings go to waste...

...why cafes have been unable to keep up business...

...and why streets were empty.

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