Almost 80 percent of Greeks find it difficult to pay their bills, according to Eurobarometer data, the Greek economic publication Economics Tachydromos reported.
According to a survey conducted in January-February this year, Greek households are facing serious economic difficulties. Even before the war in Ukraine, 85 percent of Greeks thought their quality of life had deteriorated. Almost 90 percent of respondents said the economy was not in good shape. This is the highest percentage in the EU, where this opinion is shared by an average of 27.59 percent of Europeans. Just over half of citizens say they are satisfied with the quality of their daily lives, and 83 percent say the situation in Greece is unsatisfactory.
49 percent of Greek households are not sure they can cover their expenses. There is an increase in the percentage of those who find it difficult to pay their bills. Before Russia invaded Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow, 77 percent of those polled said it was difficult to cover their costs. The EU average is 33 percent. Only 23 percent say they have no difficulty paying the bills.
It is becoming more and more expensive in Germany
“Shopping has never been so expensive for me,” said Sarah Friedhof, who is studying in Cologne and is just leaving the supermarket. “One cucumber for 99 cents, the oil is over three euros. Prices are gradually becoming unaffordable.”
And the end of the price increases is not visible at all. The ALDI chain has increased prices, and so have bakeries. “The second wave of price hikes is coming, which will be even more serious,” warns Josef St. Johannsen, chairman of the German Trade Union. According to him, price increases will continue after jumping five percent since the start of the war in Ukraine due to rising fuel prices.
Flour, cucumbers, lettuce – everything is getting more expensive
Even an elementary bread with cheese shows how much prices have risen – bread is seven percent more expensive than last year, cheese – is by 4.7 percent. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the price of lettuce is 17 percent, and of cucumbers – is as much as 30.3 percent.
The situation is no different for other basic food products – the increase in oil prices is 28.9 percent, for tomatoes 27 percent, for rye flour – 22.5.
“So far we are still driving to some stock”
“Prices will continue to rise, albeit more slowly,” said economist Thomas Reeb. According to him, they are even moderately high, given the increased costs of raw materials, transport, and production. “At the moment, we are still driving stockpiles both here in the country and on the world market. However, Ukraine will be permanently eliminated as a supplier, energy prices will continue to rise due to Russia’s elimination, and ties with China have been severed due to measures against coronavirus. In short, no improvement can be expected. ”
The expert warns that many food retailers will soon follow the example of the ALDI chain, which already raised prices last week. Other chains, such as REVE, say they are currently facing strong increases in raw material, fuel and logistics costs, as well as rising producer and supplier prices. This will force us to raise prices for certain groups of goods, said REVE.
On the hunt for discounts
Sarah Friedhof is increasingly interested in discounted products and promotions. “I haven’t done it before,” says the student. Meanwhile, she plans her purchases much more carefully so as not to throw away any food. In addition, he shops more often at the end of store hours, when price reductions are greater.
Even after the latest price increases, it is clear that dairy products will become even more expensive. “Prices are rising on a scale I have never seen,” said Eckard Heuser, head of the Dairy Union in Germany. The cheapest packet of butter now costs 2.09 euros, which is 44 percent more than last year. “I guess the price will continue to rise,” says Heuser.
Inflation in Germany has reached record levels
All this reflects the growth of inflation, which in March in Germany was 7.3 percent. There have not been such high levels since the Unification – the last time such growth was recorded in West Germany was more than 40 years ago, during the Gulf War.
The Federal Statistical Office found that one of the main factors for high inflation is the rise in fuel prices – by 39.5 percent annually. The prices of fuel oil in Germany have more than doubled recently, the prices of heat – by 47.4 percent, natural gas – by 41.8 percent, electricity – by 17.7 percent.
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