Greece (MNN) — The third bailout program is officially over and Greece is off of “life support”… for now.
However, the nation’s colossal debt remains, and Greece’s government has to figure out when and how they can start paying back creditors. As explained here, creditors are holding Greece to certain financial commitments through 2060.
With a flat-lined economy and no foreign investments in sight, prospects remain dim for recovery. Raising taxes may be the government’s only option as it tries to dig itself out of debt. It’s an unpopular choice, though; 40 percent of the average middle-class worker’s paycheck currently goes to taxes and social security.
Finances aren’t the only concern for beleaguered Greece.
“There’s a long road ahead,” says Tasos Ioannidis of AMG International. “The best and brightest have left Greece looking for economic opportunities in other countries…. it’s a tremendous ‘brain drain’.”
Then, of course, there are the refugees. Many simply pass through Greece on their way to other countries in Europe. In May, however, UNHCR recorded over 60,000 refugees and migrants staying within Grecian borders.
“We still have refugees coming in monthly…there are three million in Turkey that could step into Greece any time.”
Circumstances are daunting, but God is at work behind the scenes.
“There is an increased sense of desperation, [people] are more open to the Gospel,” shares Ioannidis.
At St. Luke’s Hospital, patients hear and learn about the love of Christ through in-house publications, intercom devotionals, and the caring services of Christian medical staff. Refugee families gather each week at one of AMG’s centers outside Athens for a church service in Arabic and Bible studies in English, French, and Kurdish.
“We have a great opportunity to tangibly express God’s love, as well as share the Good News with them, and people are more responsive these days,” says Ioannidis.
“People are desperate for hope, and that hope can only be found in Jesus.”
Header photo courtesy Pexels.