Greece birth rates fall by 10%: Ministry

A woman holds her child as she begs outside shops in central Athens. (file photo)

Birth rates have fallen by 10 percent in Greece due to a debt crisis in the country, the Greek Health Ministry says.

According to the data released by the ministry on Friday, there has been a steady decline in the number of childbirths since 2008, when 118,302 children were born in the country.

Although Greece had reported low fertility rates even before the economic crisis, the 2012 birth figure, which stands at 100,980, is mostly attributed to the economic situation rather than just lack of interest in marriage and having children.

Birth rate reduction in Greece — currently about 1.3 percent — could lead to a lack of work force due to an aging population.

Greece, which is in its sixth straight year of recession, has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis, and the harsh austerity measures adopted by the Greek government have put half a million people out of work.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.


Copyright: Press TV