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Photos: Greece’s deserted factories are ghosts of the past

From obliterated entrances to calendars frozen in time, Greece’s abandoned factories recall much better economic times. Buildings that used to make goods such as timber, textiles and cooking oils are now overgrown, rusted shells of their former selves. Graffiti reflects the frustration some feel about the country’s heavily indebted state.

"Please help," reads graffiti inside a manager's office at a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

“Please help,” reads graffiti inside a manager’s office at a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

When the G7 leaders met in Germany a week ago, Greece’s debt crisis was among the top items on the agenda with questions about whether the country would default on its international obligations.

Following a six-year recession, with unemployment rate at 25 percent, Greece “desperately needs billions of euros and more bailout funds,” Anton Troianovski of the Wall Street Journal told the PBS NewsHour Weekend on Sunday. “But the negotiations between the creditors and Greece remain very tense.”

A broken marble sign that reads "Accountant's Office" lies on the floor of a deserted marble factory that closed in 2006 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A broken marble sign that reads “Accountant’s Office” lies on the floor of a deserted marble factory that closed in 2006 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

On June 5, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected conditions by creditors for supplying more bailout money, instead insisting on debt relief. The deferring of the payment shook up the financial markets last week.

The European Commission and the leaders of France and Germany on Wednesday pushed Greece to reach a deal with creditors before the June 30 deadline to make a payment to the International Monetary Fund. If Greece fails to meet the deadline, it will be the first and only developed country to default on the IMF loans, according to the Telegraph.

A Greek flag is draped over the gate of a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A Greek flag is draped over the gate of a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

As pressure builds in Athens, Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis traveled from Athens to northeastern Greece via the Peloponnese region in the south to unearth traces of a once-flourishing Greek economy, which has dropped 30 percent in production.

A deserted industrial building, part of the local customs bureau, is seen in front of the snowcapped Mount Olympus near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A deserted industrial building, part of the local customs bureau, is seen in front of the snowcapped Mount Olympus near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

“In my 2,500 km trip around Greece, I witnessed the sad reality of once-flourishing Greek industry,” Behrakis wrote in his Reuters photo essay. “Near the town of Larissa, south of Mouth Olympus, I visited a factory that once produced textiles, only to witness rusted gates and signs of squatters living in the once-thriving business.”

Graffiti on the walls of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Graffiti on the walls of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

The rusty gate of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 is seen near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

The rusty gate of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 is seen near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

The interior of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 is seen near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

The interior of a deserted textile factory that closed in 1995 is seen near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A view shows the Izola factory in the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Izola, a manufacturer of home appliances in Greece was founded in 1930 and closed in 1986. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A view shows the Izola factory in the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Izola, a manufacturer of home appliances in Greece was founded in 1930 and closed in 1986. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A calendar from the year 2000 is seen next to a destroyed electricity panel inside a cotton spinning factory in the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A calendar from the year 2000 is seen next to a destroyed electricity panel inside a cotton spinning factory in the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

Poppies are seen near a deserted metal construction close to the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Poppies are seen near a deserted metal construction close to the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A deserted factory is seen in the industrial zone of the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A deserted factory is seen in the industrial zone of the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

Boxes of cotton thread are seen inside a cotton spinning factory that closed in 2000 in the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Boxes of cotton thread are seen inside a cotton spinning factory that closed in 2000 in the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

The sign of a plastic tube factory that closed in 2011 is seen near the town of Kavala in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

The sign of a plastic tube factory that closed in 2011 is seen near the town of Kavala in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

Graffiti is seen inside a deserted dry nut factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 24, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Graffiti is seen inside a deserted dry nut factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 24, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A destroyed sign on a closed textile factory that closed in 2003 is seen in the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A destroyed sign on a closed textile factory that closed in 2003 is seen in the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A deserted factory stands in the industrial zone of the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A deserted factory stands in the industrial zone of the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

Bond documents in Drachma currency dated October 25, 1985 are seen on top of sunflower seeds in a deserted dry nut factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece  April 24, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Bond documents in Drachma currency dated October 25, 1985 are seen on top of sunflower seeds in a deserted dry nut factory that closed in 1995 near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 24, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

Graffiti is seen inside a deserted fruit packing factory that closed in the late 1990s near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Graffiti is seen inside a deserted fruit packing factory that closed in the late 1990s near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A Christmas tree is seen on the floor of a logistics and international transportation company that closed in 2012 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A Christmas tree is seen on the floor of a logistics and international transportation company that closed in 2012 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A first aid box hangs off a wall at a deserted wood factory that closed in 2007 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A first aid box hangs off a wall at a deserted wood factory that closed in 2007 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A safe is seen inside an office at a logistics and international transportation company that closed in 2012 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A safe is seen inside an office at a logistics and international transportation company that closed in 2012 in the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A metal factory with a collapsed roof is seen in the Sindos industrial zone of the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015.Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A metal factory with a collapsed roof is seen in the Sindos industrial zone of the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015.Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A wild plant grows inside a deserted insulation factory that closed in the 1980s near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A wild plant grows inside a deserted insulation factory that closed in the 1980s near the town of Xanthi in Thrace region, Greece April 25, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A punch clock is seen at the entrance of a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A punch clock is seen at the entrance of a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A destroyed silo is seen in a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A destroyed silo is seen in a deserted cooking oil factory that closed in 1996 in the town of Elefsina in Sterea Hellas region, Greece April 28, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

A deserted factory that closed in the early 1990s is seen in the Sindos industrial zone of the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

A deserted factory that closed in the early 1990s is seen in the Sindos industrial zone of the town of Thessaloniki in central Macedonia region, Greece April 23, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

 

An accounting book lies on the floor of the management offices of a deserted marble factory that closed in 2006 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

An accounting book lies on the floor of the management offices of a deserted marble factory that closed in 2006 near the town of Larissa in Thessaly region, Greece April 22, 2015. Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

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