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Economy

Greece’s Inflation Rockets to 10-Year High, Utility Bills Soar Too

November 11, 2021

ATHENS – Greeks already crunched by wage losses during COVID-19 lockdowns, the pandemic still lingering, now are having to pay mounting costs for food and fuel and other products with inflation reaching its highest in a decade.

That came to 3.4 percent in October based on a year-by-year figuring calculated by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said Kathimerini, mostly due to a 100 percent increase in natural gas rates as well as other fuel and foodstuffs.

That is putting a squeeze on many households being offered a pittance in subsidies of some 15 euros ($17.19) a month by the New Democracy government and with businesses facing more losses because of COVID health restrictions aimed at the unvaccinated.

The data showed the price of natural gas has risen 132.3 percent in a year and 49.5 percent for heating oil, with many apartment building residents opting not to buy any and to try to get through the winter without heat, although there are some limited fuel subsidies for the lowest-income.

The cost of vehicle fuel has grown 22.3 percent and electricity by 18.9 percent, the report said, on top of big price hikes for basic ingredients many Greeks use at home, especially olive oil, which sent up 22.1 percent, and 9.3 percent for vegetables.

Prices went up 9.1 percent for potatoes, 3.9 percent for break, 8.5 percent for poultry, and 7.9 percent for fish while the overall hike for Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up 3 percent.

Estimates that the consumer price index would fall by the end of the year were so wrong that it’s going up fast as major supermarket chains said they haven’t yet incorporated more price hikes because of supply chain problems and shortages as demand is rising despite the pandemic getting worse.

Some enterprises that have not yet raised their prices because they had stocks of raw materials bought cheaper will implement price hikes next year, the newspaper also added.

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