Greece, Most Expensive Country

Greek consumers

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.


  1. “by connecting these prices to the incomes of Greek households” Ok, which greek households?

    State employed have three times the income level of private sector employed in Greece. The article is wrangled in a truly Greek way.

  2. If this economy was in any stretch of the imagination a “real economy” prices for basic goods would have begun to fall with the onset of the crises back in 2009. They would have continued to adjust to the lower wages and lack of cash flow resulting from “austerity” initiatives. But because Greece has a “wealth bubble” (I estimate to be 10% of the population)–mainly those in the sectors of shipping, media, entertainment, and the good old black markets–international mafias not being excluded, the prices stay astronomically high. Why? because recipients of this lovely wealth are willing and able to pay ANY price for goods in this land–and do. We the normal and poverty-stricken consumers must bear the weight of this silent and lopsided economic anomaly at the cash registers. Why for instance do Greeks pay almost the highest rate in all of Europe for mobile Internet service when countries like Bulgaria have the cheapest and fastest systems? Let’s face it, most of the inflated prices put on the consumers in this country are the result of unchecked “price-gouging” and just plain thievery.

  3. It is simple “supply and demand” determine the price of goods and services. Yet the Greek economy is not adjusting prices lower when demand plummets. The reason being, as all Greeks know, the Greek economy is not open to competition. Many sectors of the economy remain protected preventing new payers to compete for customers. A significant portion of the public is brainwashed to think more competition is not the answer.

    We did not become expensive overnight. It took a lot of effort to enact bad laws preventing citizens and companies from becoming players in the economy. To fix this will take time, the government must recall a lot of useless legislation. The current legislative body, I am afraid, is not up to the task, although the prime minister Samaras is!

  4. There must be a typo, incomes are reduced by as much as 30%, not 3% (the way things go, if your income has shrunk by just 3%, that’s practically a raise… )

  5. Exactly. If you want things to be as cheap in Greece as they are in China for example. Then you need to make the cost of doing business as low in Greece as it is in China. It is not rocket science. There is no such thing as “free” healthcare or “free” benefits or “free” pensions etc etc. If the government is offering to give you something then they have to take something away from you.

    And for all those socialists out there saying the government redistributes wealth to the poor, this is false. If redistribution of wealth to the “poor” was the goal then the government would not tax the “poor” in the first place and save themselves the administrative cost of giving money back to them.

  6. I think the concept of FREE has expanded in Greece corrupting citizens, the government and public servants. I would rather have small government and ultra-low taxes and as a citizen make purchasing decisions (including education, health, retirement). I prefer the government to police the market place not to control it, to work on creating economic opportunities for all.
    In your response you mentioned China. China does not have to become a model for Greece to follow. Greece needs to produce quality goods and services offered at a market competitive price. Consumers are smart and will always evaluate both quality and price before making a purchase.

    The socialists left nothing behind worth keeping(look at health, education, justice all in shambles). The socialist/SYRIZA have a new leader (Alexis) watch out! Best regards.

  7. Well one should remember that in Greece people eat completely different things than people in the Netherlands or in Germany.
    Most people in Germany buy groceries in crappy discount stores like Lidl, Aldi or Penny, everything is packed, everything is artificial… in Germany and in the Netherlands fresh fish is nowhere to be found, just frozen cod fillets everywhere.
    I don’t want to mention tomatoes or potatoes, the Germans and the Dutch eat whatever they find in their supermarkets, they don’t have street markets like in Greece, they don’t have small local producers. Big companies can reduce the costs, this is why the Dutch spend just 50 euros per month on food.

    Personally, I spend more than 100 euros per month on food. I cannot accept to cook with rapeseed oil like most Germans do, I only cook with extra virgin olive oil.
    A REAL extra virgin olive oil does not cost less than 7 euros / litre, if it costs 4 or 5 euros (like some cheap bottles in Germany) it is NOT extra virgin, it is probably some crappy spanish olive oil mixed with soybean stuff.

    Some Greeks started buying at German discount stores (Lidl has several branches in Athens and some other cities) but just because it’s cheap, the tomatoes are all imported from Holland and taste like plastic, the potatoes are awful, and the drinks are only good as decalcifiers.


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