Athens : For the first time since a “Santa Claus Post Office” opened around two decades ago in Greece, children in the debt-hit country have not only asked for new toys, but also for jobs for their unemployed parents.
Officials at the headquarters of Hellenic Post in Athens — where thousands of letters sent to Santa Claus are collected in special red boxes — were left speechless this week, as they read a letter that was “more like a list for the supermarket” than a typical Christmas letter, Xinhua reported.
The letter by a little girl named Maria, an elementary school pupil from the southern Aegean island of Crete, read:
“Dear Santa Claus, this year I want you to bring me two baby pampers, milk, a pacifier, a purple brush and a job for my sister.”
Though traditionally Christmas means fun for children, amidst the deep recession in Greece, for many families this festival season will be different as major cuts in salaries and emergency taxes did not leave margins for many gifts and expenses.
Many other kids have written to Santa Claus with the hope that he finds jobs for their parents or gives money for everyday needs during the holidays instead of sending expensive dolls.
All letters received in the special red boxes placed outside every local post office across Greece will be read by officials and all children would receive a written reply and a symbolic present from Santa Claus.
Greece’s soaring debt has caused an economic crisis in the country. The country’s budget deficit has reached almost 13 percent of its GDP.