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Economy

Inflation Spikes in Greece to Record Level, Prices Go Out of Sight

ATHENS – To the surprise of no one who’s bought gasoline or food, tried to rent an apartment or buy a home – and gotten an electricity bill – inflation in Greece has jumpeds so far so fast that it has hit a record high.

The June data for the National Consumer Price Index, which the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said hit 11.3 percent in May could be as much as 13 percent when the new figure is released July 7, said Kathimerini.

The level of the harmonized index of consumer prices at 12 percent now is the highest figure since it started being recorded in Greece in 1996, surpassing the May 2022 number, and the highest since 1993.

That’s bad news for the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who reportedly has been mulling to call snap elections while surveys show he’s still some 8 percent ahead of the major opposition SYRIZA of former premier Alexis Tsipras, whom he unseated in July, 2019.

The cost of almost everything has soared in Greece, with electricity bills doubling, food prices jumping, energy costs so high that the government is providing subsidies and a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food.

Inflation in the 19-member Eurozone of countries that use the euro – eight European Union countries don’t – is expected to reach 8.4 percent in June, said the statistics agency Eurostat.

In Greece it jumped 1.5 percent from 10.5 percent in May, the second highest month-on-month index in the zone after Estonia. Eurostat data showed Greece had the fifth highest inflation rate in the area. Gasoline is nearing $10 a gallon.

Eurostat’s sector-specific figures also show that Greece had the second highest energy inflation at 60.6 percent after Belgium at 64.6 percent on an annual basis and that it’s likely to keep getting worse.

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