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House Burglaries Increasing Due to Greeks Hiding Cash in their Homes

More and more stories are coming to light about anxious Greeks withdrawing their money, or even their life-savings, from the Greek banks to stash it safely at their homes and then having it stolen right under their noses.
The debt crisis has caused a panic wave among Greeks, who are desperately trying to protect their Euros from a potentially impending Euro Zone exit or default.
“No one knows just how much cash lies stashed in Greek homes, secreted in cupboards, at the back of the ice-box, beneath the floor or under the mattress. But by any guess, it is well in the billions,” reports Reuters, adding that 72 billion Euros have been withdrawn from Greek bank accounts in cash between 2010 and 2012.
“Many people have withdrawn their money from the banks fearing a financial crash, and they either carry it on them, find a hideout at home or in storage rooms,” national police spokesman Thanassis Kokkalakis said to Reuters.
This change in the place to save one’s money, however, hides a grave risk: it lacks security. Unlike banks or jewelry shops, normal houses are prey to all burglars, who prefer breaking into houses of elderly people and take off with the freshly withdrawn money rather than going for a bank treasury and its security systems. According to the Reuters report, the new money saving trend is attracting not only local but foreign crime networks as well.
Besides criminality spreading across the debt-ridden country, the dangers underlying when hiding large amounts of money at home are more to think about. A possible fire could destroy the savings of a lifetime, while a person’s disappearance could leave a stash of money hidden in a hollow below the floor for the future “archaeologists” to retrieve.
Stashing money in secure places was a common practice across Greece dating back to the ancient times. “Hiding valuables – small or larger amounts of coins, golden, silver, even bronze – was very widespread in antiquity, especially in times of war, crisis or difficulty,” George Riginos of the Association of Greek Archaeologists told Reuters.

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