07/29/2011 01:28 pm ET | Updated Sep 28, 2011

Greece's Dismal Economy Leaves Some Feeling They've Lost 'Quality As A People'

A sovereign debt crisis has left Greece with riots and the worst credit rating in the world. And day-to-day life outside the capital can be equally dismal.

Some Greeks living near the ruins of Athens' ancient rival city Sparta feel they are paying the price for the choices made by politicians in the capital, BBC World reports. Small business owners across multiple industries say they are barely surviving even though the government's latest round of austerity measures has yet to take effect.

From pastry chefs to orange farmers to luxury furniture salesman, times are tough and the outlook does not look good -- that's if you're lucky enough to even have a job with unemployment ratings rising 40 percent in March.

And maybe worse, the joblessness casts a pessimistic malaise even over the most qualified of Greek citizens.

"You lose your quality as a people, as a citizen," one business school graduate who was forced to move back in with his parents after losing his job in Athens told BBC World. "Because you can't offer [anything] in the community, you can't offer [anything] for yourself, for your family."