Over the past seven years, austerity has left visible scars in Greece’s capital.
A walk around Athens reveals more homeless than ever despite some signs of a rosier economic outlook. Thousands of shops, mostly small businesses, are shuttered here and across the country. In what used to be a busy shopping arcade, closed stores are padlocked against a backdrop of hanging Greek flags.
Whole families can be seen lining up for free meals at a growing number of soup kitchens.
High unemployment and a steady decline of living standards for most Greeks for seven consecutive years have had lasting effects.
Greece has survived on international rescue loans since 2010, granted by the IMF and other countries using the euro currency in exchange for drastic cut in public spending and benefits. Greece is now in its third bailout.