According to the latest report of Europe’s statistical agency Eurostat, Greece remains among the most expensive countries in the EU despite the economic contraction and radical cuts to salaries, pensions and benefits.
Figures also show that prices in the debt-ridden country have been soaring, adding to the burden of beleaguered Greeks while businesses say they can not afford to reduce what they charge.
Greek Ministry of Development officials said that the situation in the marketplace is worse than expected and prices higher after five years of consecutive recession. According to the Eurostat figures, Greek prices are higher than the Eurozone average in many product categories, while Greece is the most expensive country in milk and dairy products as well as furniture and electronic equipment.
According to the Ministry, the high prices are the result of underground economy still being very active in the country. Reducing the prices of consumer goods would mean the increase of supplies and inspections to combat illegal profiteering, lower taxation and lower costs of transportation.
Eurostat figures showed that the Greek food market was the 14th most expensive one amidst the 27 EU Member-States in 2011. Greek bread and cereals prices are 16 percent higher than the EU average, while Greece has the highest producer rates in the Eurozone. In the fish market Greece ranks as the 6th most-expensive country, while dairy and milk products are 31.5 percent more expensive for consumers than in any other EU country.
Furniture, house appliances and electronic equipment are the most expensive products to buy in Greece despite the fact that the crisis had its toll on these particular markets. Greek transportation remains cheaper than the EU average despite high fuel taxes that have pushed the price of gasoline to nearly $10 a gallon.