ATHENS – While Greece is moving faster into the Digital Age and emphasizing the use of credit and debit cards and transactions on mobile phones, one in three people are still paid in cash.
That’s the highest rate in the Eurozone, the 20 of the 27 countries in the European Union who use the euro as a currency, the results showing in a December, 2022 European Central Bank survey.
Greeks prefer cash too because it’s easier to evade taxes and a number of government programs to make businesses, services and professionals – especially lawyers, doctors, plumbers and others – to be paid through Point-of-Service (POS) devices has largely failed.
Using cash also is a way of hiding transactions and protecting privacy so that people’s spending can’t be tracked, as it often is on phones unless they are using Virtual Private Networks with safe banking and payment protection.
In Greece, some 11 percent of citizens get up to 25 percent of their income in cash, more than twice the Eurozone average, said the news site Vimatisko, and many like to stash it at home and not just banks.