Author Topic: Soros solidarity centres  (Read 1695 times)

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Offline Maik

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Soros solidarity centres
« on: Wednesday, 22 January, 2014 @ 18:55:41 »
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.

Soros committed $1m for heating oil last year after local mayors, unable to heat schools, appealed for help.

Soros, who wants to set up solidarity centres nationwide, has provided support for heating oil to some 190 institutions – including orphanages, nurseries, schools and old peoples' homes – across Greece.

But his support is not without controversy. The financier's motives have raised suspicion, with school parents' associations refusing to endorse donations for heating oil, prompting a furious riposte from Thessaloniki's mayor Yiannis Boutaris last week.

 "It is the fact that Greek tycoons, shipowners and those from the diaspora … don't follow his example."

Mouriki said with the country grappling with its worst recession in modern times, the lack of philanthropy exhibited by Greece's financial elite had been startling. "It's a terrible fact," she sighed, "that they prefer to buy pieces of art to enrich their private collections or conduct expensive trips abroad than help those in need. The lack of compassion has been really extraordinary."

Greece's gargantuan debt load lies at the root of its financial woes.

"Everyone knows that Greece can never pay back its debt," says Soros.