25/06/2012 11:36 BST

Greek Crisis: BBC's Panorama Reveals How Pharmacists Are Running Out Of Medicine

The economy in Greece is in such dire straits that pharmacists there are running out of medicine, a Panorama investigation has revealed.

In the BBC programme, broadcast tonight, veteran reporter John Humphrys speaks to chemist Konstantina Gavrou, who tells him she’s so concerned about the situation that it affects her sleep.

She says: “I cannot sleep, during the night, I am feeling terrible. I don’t know if it is my fault and how I can solve this problem, but when I wake up in the morning, I realise that this is not for me but I have to find a solution as a citizen.”


John Humphrys speaks to pharmacist Konstantina Gavrou

Another chemist, Dina Kriara, has a heart condition that requires specialist drugs – but ironically, despite being surrounded by medicines, she finds it hard getting them.

“Even as we speak I haven’t had my medications for this month. I can’t live without them,” she says.

The national fund that supplies pharmacists is failing, Humphrys explains.

He takes a special interest in Greek affairs because his son Christopher has moved there.

His wife is a lawyer, but never knows which clients will be able to pay their bills.

The show explains how on average pensions in Greece have been cut by 30 per cent, 20 per cent are unemployed and that a staggering 40 per cent of the population could soon be living in poverty.

Even the middle classes are falling onto the breadline.

Greece’s economic problems have been exacerbated by an apparent unwillingness by the rich to pay their taxes.

Panorama speaks to one software engineer asked to design a program to snare evaders, who discovered that tax collectors themselves were complicit in tax dodging, gladly taking back-handers to cover-up fraud.

Learn more tonight with Panorama's Life and Debt: A Greek Tragedy, which airs on BBC One at 8.30pm.