This is something that every Greek has been wondering about: that despite the austerity cuts in incomes, pensions and wages, the prices for consumer goods remain high. A little much too high are the food prices and in some items one would think that Greeks pay gold to buy eggs, milk and dairy products.
According to Eurostat statistics about consumer Prices in 2015:
Greece is second most expensive EU country in dairy products, cheese & eggs (31% higher than the EU average and thus) after Cyprus.
Higher than the EU average are also prices for bread, cereals (14% higher), alcoholic beverages and other food times.
Although an olive-oil production country, prices in oils, domestic butter & margarine Greece are 16% higher than the EU average.
Fish prices in Greece are 13% higher than the EU average, although fishery is supposed to be one of main chains in alimentary food chain.
Lower than the EU average are prices for fruits, vegetables & potatoes (17% lower), meat (12% lower) and tobacco products (24% lower – No worries, the 3. bailout brings new taxes and tobacco products will skyrocket.)
What if disposable income has shrunk by 25% in the last six years of austerity. Greeks keep paying for some essential items and thus more than Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
In no category is Greece the cheapest country among the EU member states.
Based on the Eurostat, highest prices were recorded in Denmark, reaching 145% of the EU average, followed by Sweden (124%), Austria (120%), Ireland and Finland (119%) and Luxembourg.
The cheapest are Poland (63% lower than the EU average), Romania (64%), Bulgaria (70%), Lithuania (78%), the Czech Republic and Hungary (79%).
Interactive Infographic by the EU
1. Select a product to see the EU Member States with the highest and lowest price
2. Select a EU Member State to see it within the ranking.
All by coincide, I was speaking with a friend about the high prices here a couple of days ago. Milk has become cheaper since last year after the OECD tool kit extended the expire date of fresh milk and made cheap import possible. One can find 1L Fresh milk for €0.90 but trust me it’s a rather tasteless white fluid. Ten years ago, 1L Fresh milk was €2.
Yogurt is soon to be cheaper, as powder milk will be allowed in famous Greek yogurt.
And yes, fruits and vegetables are cheap and of good quality. But meat it’s cheap only if imported from the mass-production farms in the Netherlands. And one wonders, if it’s meat or a piece of paper.
However, the description “cheap” is always in connection with available income but also with quality. There is fresh milk of excellent quality and taste from small Greek farms. But it costs €1.90 per liter. I could understand the ‘production volume’ +’demand’ + ‘transport cost’ + ‘whatever cost’ formula, but if one has to come through the month on a tight budget, one is happy to be able to afford a liter of milk, at all.
We all know that everything (incl. vegetables) was more expensive on the islands, even on those islands that had a Value Added Tax reduction of 30% to absorb the transportation cost. Yet, we always used to pay higher prices than in Athens “because of the transport cost” as the locals used to say.
Now that the fuel prices will go up again to please the creditors, prices will go up again following the new VAt hike form 23% to 24% since 1. June 2016.
Some like my neighborhood Souvlaki grill claimed that they did not raised their prices despite the latets VAt hike. It’s only that the portions are smaller now.
So all I can say is:
Prices in Greece? It’s complicated!
PS just wondering whether the Eurostat took into consideration the VAT hike to 23% from 13% in July 2015.