A Farewell to Greece

monastery4

One of the seven Meteoran Monasteries.

We’ve said farewell to Greece and are moving into the second phase of our journey: Turkey. Here are some last thoughts on a few highlights from our visit to this land of incredible beauty and economic turmoil.

Wednesday, Jan. 21

We visited two of the seven monasteries comprising the Meteoran Monasteries. Perched high atop cliffs, the monasteries are near the town of Kalambaka and are Orthodox communities. More pictures of these stunning clifftop monasteries below.

monastery3 monastery2monastery

Friday, Jan. 23

greece

With reluctance we bade farewell to Greece on Friday. Now, on a Sunday evening, the results of the Greek election are coming in. It appears the opposition party called Syriza (an acronym meaning “Radical Coalition of the Left”) will win. The Greek economy is in very bad shape, exacerbated by tough austerity measures imposed on Greece by the European Community and designed to force Greece to cut public sector spending.

I saw some statistics that would startle anyone, particularly Catholic Charities staff: in Greece the unemployment rate is 25%, with youth unemployment at 60%. Average monthly wage in Greece is approximately $600-$660. That kind of unemployment and wage levels does not promote the common good.

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