The latest “Detailed Average Price Report” published in November 2013 by the European Commission reveals that Greek consumers are forced to spend three times as much as consumers in other European countries do for the same goods.
Upon studying the prices on several basic products in different eurozone countries, it seems that Greece doesn’t have the highest prices, but rather is on the same or lower level compared to other countries. However, by connecting these prices to the incomes of Greek households, it is revealed that Greece is in real terms the most expensive eurozone country.
The main reason behind this conclusion is the fact that product prices in Greece are unfortunately not being constantly adjusted to the new incomes, which have been reduced as much as 30% during the last three years. Therefore, today’s prices may still relate to Greek incomes of 2009.
Greek consumers are asked to spend €63.4 for filling their shopping basket with 20 basic products, such as rice, bread, milk, eggs and olive oil. With a minimum wage of €586, Greeks spend 10.81% of their monthly salary on food. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the same products total €50.3, which corresponds to only 3.7% of the monthly income in the Netherlands, where the minimum wage is at €1,478.
Milk in Greece is sold at the same average price of €1.28 per liter as in Luxembourg, where citizens earn three and a half times as much as Greeks. Eggs are also very expensive in Greece, with ten eggs being sold for €2.84, compared to €1.76 in the Netherlands, €1.60 in Portugal and €2.63 in Luxembourg.
For milk, butter, coffee, eggs and toilet paper in particular, Greek consumers pay the highest prices among other eurozone countries.