The Story of Helena Dritsa

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ATHENS, Greece June 2012

The Story of Helena Dritsa:

Age undisclosed, Unemployed

I met Helena and her daughter Polina also at the Dimos centre for homeless, and also in this case, like with Afroditi, it was Helena speaking to me first.

It seemed like Helena needed to talk, and she did indeed. The expression on her face suggests anger and frustration, at times turning into sudden madness, against a system that let her and her two kids down.

Also her husband let themfamily down. After 20 years of domestic violence, he left the family as soon as their youngest son Kostas was born 21 years ago.

Helena didn’t want to state her age, but Polina is 27 and Kostas, with special conditions caused by a partial brain damage from birth is now 21 years old. They live is a semi-basement of an anonymous building near one of the main arteries of the  northern part of Athens, the Alexandras. The house is tiny, messy and packed with tapestries, old photos, crosses and a lot of medications!

“We are not able to cope with this situation any longer!” Helena cries “We have to manage in three with €620 every two months and they have just added a Mafia-like tax on our Electricity bill, which we have to pay if we don’t want to stay in the dark!!”

Kostas doesn’t come out from the house, because of his condition, but he has learned English via the internet and translates what his mother screams out loud to me.

Kostas says “They will bring our income support down and I don’t think my mother will be any longer able to afford my medications… we have nothing!”

Helena carries on “ I would kill bloody Merkel!! I would kill those responsible for this crisis too!! They ate everything, the Greek government has taken all from us and we are desperate now!”

She claims that Greek population is the victim of a nation wide scam and that because of that now the world thinks all Greek are lazy “…But we are a people of heroes, we fought wars and sacrificed all we had for this country…Please Mimi tell the world we’re heroes..!” and she hands me a copy of a letter her grandfather sent to his wife while he was a prisoner of war in 1940.

Polina, a beautiful looking young woman, says “We have no one, we have no friends, we are alone!”

Their house consists of one room where they have their three beds, one table and bench and a drawer full of stuff. A tiny kitchen cannot host the fridge that is placed beside the beds and the toilet is essential and doubles as a storage space.

The house was given by Helena’s mother who died 6 months before. This is the only thing they have.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “The Story of Helena Dritsa”

  1. Antonio says :

    A story that has to be told! Although I still don’t understand why most greeks are angrier at Merkel than to their own politicians, who actually caused the crisis.

  2. mimimollica says :

    Well, actually Greeks are really and deeply conscious of the political class of corrupt bastards that have caused the crisis. There isn’t anyone I have met in one month spent in Athens, that denies or doesn’t recognize the ones responsible for this downfall, but let’s not forget that the crisis is a Global one, and that in Greece it’s only worst because of a number of factors.
    Thanks for your comment,

  3. Antonio says :

    Mimi i am glad you say that, looking forward to see more of your stories.

  4. george papadopoulis says :

    If you look closer to our protests you will realize that we are angrier at our own politicians than Merkel. Also if you look closer to all major corruption affairs in Greece you will find some German companies. Also the German bankers claimed few months ago that they have made 40bn euros out of Greek debt last year. Long live the United Europe of the Bankers!

  5. mimimollica says :

    I agree George. There is far too much stygma onto the Greeks that it makes me sick! Long live GREECE!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: