This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter at midnight tonight. It's traditionally the biggest holiday in Greece. But there is a cloud over the celebration. Reporter Joanna Kakissis sends us this postcard from Athens and the inner-city cathedral of Saint Lucas.
In Greece, more than 21 percent of the working-age population is jobless. For Greeks under age 25, the rate is more than double that.
Some young Greeks are frightened that the economy, now in free fall, will take years to recover, so they're leaving for jobs abroad. A few entrepreneurs, however, are trying to start businesses during the worst recession in decades.
A magnet for these young entrepreneurs is CoLab, a business incubator in a weathered building near the Athens Cathedral in the city center. CoLab opened in 2009, with just one occupant — a Spanish travel writer.
The human toll from the financial crisis in Greece now has a human face.
After 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas killed himself Wednesday outside the parliament building in Athens, a suicide note he left was reported to say that he felt he must take a "dignified end to my life" because austerity measures and "annihilated all traces for my survival," particularly his pension.
With Greece entering its fifth year of recession and dealing with harsh austerity measures imposed as part of a eurozone bailout deal to save it from default, its society is in upheaval. Opinion polls suggest the old political system is collapsing, and extremist parties are gaining popularity ahead of spring elections.
At a recent protest in Athens, a large bronze bell tolled as thousands of policemen in full uniform marched solemnly through the streets. They ominously waved their handcuffs at Parliament, shouting, "Take your bailout plan and get out of here."
Debt-beleaguered Greece has secured a second international bailout. But for many Greeks, the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank — known as the "troika" — are a breach of their sovereignty.
A recent demonstration in central Athens was organized by a group of lawyers who claim the latest bailout agreement turns Greece into the ward of its international lenders.
Demonstrator Irini Lazana says it violates the country's legislative foundations.