first_imgBarrie Cassidy served as an ABC Europe correspondent before taking up his hosting position with the broadcaster’s prime Sunday morning political current affairs program Insiders in 2001. During his time in Europe he had been to Greece on official business, reporting on the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the state of the booming Greek economy at the time. “The longest period that I had there I went there for more than a week to do preview stories on the Athens Olympics. I wasn’t there for the Olympics itself but I went there to do previews and did a couple of stories on the economy as it was then.”Cassidy recently returned from his first trip back to Greece since his time as a correspondent, and told Neos Kosmos that he was anticipating a much bleaker environment, on the back of the economic hardship faced by the country.“I expected it to be more rundown than it was. I thought that the morale would be lower than it actually is. I did get a sense that despite everything they’re [the Greeks] still getting on with it.”The Insiders host spoke of Athens as a city still coming to grips with the country’s reformed economic landscape and was surprised by the populace’s resilience, in the wake of controversial social issues that Greeks are contending with. “It was interesting that the large scale demonstrations that I saw in the streets while I was there were not aimed at their own personal situations or the state of the economy. They were demonstrations against drug traffickers and how they had taken over certain parts of the city, and large squares and shopping centres were the designated areas for these traffickers.“There was one demonstration where about 25-30,000 people had surrounded this whole area where we were and it was all aimed at that.”“So they may have their problems economically, and their standard of living is falling, but there’s still a lot of them who are focused on these really important social issues as well.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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