The economic crisis across Europe has perhaps been most keenly felt in Greece, where people have taken to the streets in violent and emotional protests against the austeriy measures imposed on the nation.
In this heartbreaking dispatch from the streets of Athens, SUE REID finds mothers who have been forced to sell their own children in the battle for survival.
Now drastic austerity measures imposed by Eurozone finance leaders mean that benefits, state pensions and pay rates have been pared to the bone as taxes are hiked heavenwards in a last ditch attempt to balance the books and stop the country going bankrupt.
For example, the threshold at which personal tax has to be paid has been reduced to £3,000 a year, while Vat has soared to 23 per cent. There is a new annual levy on private property which costs the average homeowner £1,000 a year.