UNICEF’S Greece Chief Says Kids Fat, Poor, Neglected by State

ATHENS – Coming on the heels of reports that Greece’s children are the most obese in the European Union, the head of UNICEF’s first office in the country said they are third-poorest in the bloc and ill-served for generations by every government.

Luciana Calestini told Kathimerini of the findings by the United Nations Children Fund that confirmed just poor the quality of life is for Greek children, the country still struggling to recover from a 2010-18 economic and austerity crisis which devastated

Greece has the worst record in the European Union for childhood obesity and the third worst for childhood poverty, Luciano Calestini, the representative heading UNICEF’s first Greek country office told Kathimerini.

He said it’s attributable to every government, none moving to do more to help the country’s children, noting that in the areas of quality of education, health and services that the government spends only 2,688 euros ($2953) annually per child compared to the EU average of 7,000 euros ($7689.)

He said it was because of an “accumulation” of more than 70 years of governments failing to give children what they need and that it’s still not clear “what the national agenda for children is and who is in charge,” slighting the Education Ministry.

“We are not prioritizing our children,” he said, urging Greece to “rebalance” its fiscal choices and warning that continuing to overlook their needs “risks national self-injury.”



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