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No More Big Fat Greek Weddings

Big Fat Greek Weddings
Greece’s economic crisis has become so severe for many that even traditional customs are being lost or altered, including an end to big weddings and people forced to have bargain funerals because they can’t pay burial costs.

The news agency Reuters reported that fewer people are getting married – and others are putting off divorces because of the cost. Those who do walk down the aisle aren’t splurging on flowers, three-foot high candles and candy wrapped in tulle.

Nafsika Koutrokoi, 28, who works at a butcher shop, said that fulfilling her dream of marrying her fiancé, a cable technician, in church was a difficult decision that required huge sacrifices. “Things are quite tough right now,” she said after the wedding. “We cut down on many things, from invitations to the reception, on everything,” she told Reuters.

The number of Greek couples who tied the knot in church tumbled to 28,000 in 2011, two years into Europe’s debt crisis, compared to the pre-crisis level of 40,000 in 2008, according to the country’s statistic service ELSTAT. The number of civil weddings, not favored in a country where the Greek Orthodox Church has such a long hold, soared from 8,000 a decade ago to 26,000 in 20122.

The wedding industry’s countless shops and planners are also feeling the pinch. “They want whatever is cheapest, which often is not possible because the cost of everything is rising,” said wedding shop owner Anastasia Theophanopoulou, whose family business has sold wedding supplies for decades. “There is a drastic drop.”

The downturn has also had an unexpected effect on another ceremony revered by many Greeks – funerals. With more and more Greeks having trouble paying for funerals, municipal authorities in Athens have reduced the cost of burial in the capital’s cemeteries. “There was always money for the deceased, but now people are in a very bad state,” Athens City Councilor Nikos Kokkinos, who is responsible for cemeteries, told the news agency.

Some Greeks do not collect their dead loved ones from the hospital to avoid having to pay for the funeral. Others can no longer afford a traditional marble tombstone and so leave plots as simple dirt mounds overgrown by weeds, a cemetery official said.

Funeral home director Vassilis Tranou has been forced to lower prices at his family-run business and sometimes will do a funeral – which costs at least 1,500 euros($1,978 U.S.) – for free. “People don’t have the money any more or they don’t spend like they used to, and Greeks are usually people who take great care with the people they have lost,” Tranou said.

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  • Cont T, smartest Greek ever

    These illiterate Greeks only have themselves to blame for not having money.  If they had studied and gotten a University degree instead of cutting meat in a butcher shop, then they would have been in a better financial position today.

    I believe all the Greeks have the power to become something of themselves instead of peasants like the toilet cleaning Skopians.  I am ashamed when other Greeks do not hold degrees like my very high academic one, ‘Bachelor of Arts’.  I am a Greek success story.

  • Alex

    *note to self.  Stop scratching my itchy balls

  • Alex

    I have Bachelor of Farts, re. Best degree in University of Athens. I have minor in throwing molotovs at riot police and major in drinking coffee and speculating conspiracies.

  • Alex

    Cannot stop damn it. Must tie my hands to something.

  • Mental Retard Kosta

    Don’t re. I’m jealous. I need me get maself one of dose Bachelor of farts.

    Come to think of it, I already have. I am a 40 year old Batchelor & fart all the time. I love ma Turkish coffee as well & talks about New World Order.

    Me smarts as well.

  • Mental Retard Kosta

    Ooops. I just farted !

  • Alex

    According to Choralife… there are no Skopians trolling this website.

  • Delchev the Bulgarian

    Its a problem among Bulgarians.

  • Alex

    Perhaps you should consult a physician in Skopje? I’m sure your pal Mental Retard Kosta could recommend you someone.

  • Misirkov the Bulgarian

     I love to pretend to. I like to pretend to be Macedonian. This is why I wrote…

    “And
    anyway, what sort of new Macedonian nation can this be when we and our fathers
    and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have always been called Bulgarians?”

    “Some
    will ask why I speak of breaking away from the Bulgarians when in the past we
    have even called ourselves Bulgarians ”

    “Macedonians
    means only Macedonian Bulgarians”

    “The
    only Macedonian Slavs who played a leading part in the uprising were those who
    called themselves Bulgarians.”

    “No
    matter whether we call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians we shall always feel
    as a nationality with a Bulgarian national consciousness”

    The
    population of Skopje is pure Bulgarian.

  • Gruevski

     We don’t mind cleaning the toilets. This is why we built a giant Alexander statue. So we could clean toilets for tourists for our national hero – a self-identifying Hellene.

  • Alex

    Sometimes I talk to myself just to drown out the other voices in my head

  • Alex Prime Minister of Greece

    Once again you have filled this article with Bullsh* it Alex!

  • Alithia

    Fewer weddings, few priests getting drunk!

    Sad day.indeed! 

  • Alex Prime Minister of Greece

    Did I mention my only handle on Greek reporter is “Alex Prime Minister of Greece” which I created specifically to stalk day-in day-out a Greek that is strongly against Skopians and communists… something I claim to be against.

    I criticized Skopians and communist a couple of days ago.. after
    weeks of Alex pointing out I never criticize Skopians and communists.  I
    claim to be a Greek patriot that voted for Golden Dawn This is why I
    obsessively attack Alex that constantly criticizes Skopians and
    communists … and stay dead silent about other blatantly Skopians who
    patrol this website. I am a Greek patriot.

    I swear its all true.

  • Alex

    Hey didn’t you claimed to be German a couple of days ago? Now you are Greek today?

  • Alex Prime Minister of Greece

     My name is Alex Prime Minister of Greece. I claim to be a Greek patriot  that votes for Golden Dawn but I constantly defend leftists on this website. I also don’t say a word of protest against obvious Skopians like you that troll this website. In fact in other threads I will even AGREE with Skopians like you with other  handle “inbred Kosta” by saying…

    ” He isn’t being paid with money,  he does a lot of bending over”
    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2013/02/16/financial-crimes-chief-charged-with-graft/

  • Alex Prime Minister of Greece

     AΛΕΞ ΞΕΡΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΠΟΥΛΑΚΙ ΤΣΙΟΥ?

  • Sirgeorge8600

    “The number of Greek couples who tied the knot in church tumbled to
    28,000 in 2011, two years into Europe’s debt crisis, compared to the
    pre-crisis level of 40,000 in 2008″

    And this has nothing to do with Greece’s rising atheist population?

  • Naomi

    This has to do with the cost of a political wedding costing 100 euros vs. a full blown wedding costing over 10.000 euros.   What would you do if you were in a debt crisis???

  • Alex Prime Minister of Greece

    I love talking about penises.