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Greek Family Lives in a Cave


A destitute 40 year-old man has been living along with his family under squalid conditions in a cave in Heraklion, Crete in Greece. As if that was not enough, he was considered by the Greek state to have violated the law concerning arbitrary buildings and he was forced to go to trial.
Minas Klados, along with his wife and their three young children, have been living in a cave and a small room he built on top of it. His grandparents and parents had also been living there and his family still are, so dire is their financial situation.
The 40 year-old man, however, faced the law when he decided to replace a part of the material covering the 3×3-meter room so that rainwater would not get in the shelter.
His tribulations with the law began in 2010 after a complaint. Thus, Mr. Klados was arrested and on Tuesday he went to trial. Because of his arrest, the 40 year-old man was afraid eventually to replace the worn material, resulting in the family having to live with the rainwaters.
Fortunately, the Labor Centre of Heraklion heard of the story. The president of the centre Socratis Vardakis stated: “We took food and milk to the man’s children and I saw with my own eyes the state in which they have been living. They were cold and wet because it was illegal for their father to replace a small piece of material. I felt ashamed. A group of people took the initiative and  fitted a panel to protect them from the elements.”
Mr. Vardakis was a witness at Mr. Klados’ trial and urged the court to punish the staff of the Labor Centre and not the 40 year-old man, as it was them who made the arbitrary intervention. Eventually, the court acquitted Mr. Klados.
As the latter explained, his financial situation makes it impossible to provide his children with better living conditions.
“They were born here, raised here, this is their natural environment. I wish I had the opportunity to offer them something better. I am not asking for money from anyone. Everyone goes through difficult times,” stated Mr. Klados.
“I was told that I would have to pay 600-800 euros per square meter to make the room legal, as the area is growing. If I had that much money, I would not have been here,” he continued.

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