TNH at the Easter Market in Athens, What the Stakeholders Say

ATHENS – In the midst of Holy Week and the celebrations for Easter, the situation in the Greek market is suffering from the negative consequences of socio-economic hardship. Greek consumers during the holidays seem to be more conservative in their spending with purchases being limited to the few essentials.

At the meat market, The National Herald found price increases and spoke to the locals for their reaction. The market is around 50% down, a butcher who runs his butcher shop in the area of ​​Koukaki in Athens told TNH. Lamb and goat prices, he said, have risen sharply. “It was 11 euro, and then went to 15,” he noted, referring to the price at which the lamb and goat are currently available in the Greek market. The price of these meats probably makes the traditional celebration of Easter seem economically unbearable for many Greek homes and the Easter souvla or roasted leg of lamb probably inaccessible.

On the other hand, a walk on the main shopping street of the city, Ermou, and a discussion with people in individual stores led to similar conclusions about the attitude of Greek consumers and in terms of their other festive markets. “Reluctantly” a jewelry store employee answered a relevant question about how the market is moving this year during the Easter days. “People come to get specific small gifts for their loved ones. Most spend abound 50-60 euros,” she told TNH.

Tourism is doing particularly well, she added, a fact that somewhat balances any restraint in terms of consumption on the part of Greek citizens. This remark about the arrival of a large number of tourists in the country and in a broad sense its positive economic valuation was even noted by other store clerks on the same shopping street.

An employee in a shoe store said that Greeks really are not circulating so much in the market this year. “Now, of course, it is Easter and many godfathers and godmothers buy children’s shoes,” he added, confirming that despite any financial difficulties, as far as children are concerned, any – even basic – Easter gifts are not missing.

Specifically for last Sunday when, it is recalled, the shops were open, a rare circumstance in Greece, the answer was clear and categorical: “Sunday did not go well,” she noted, mostly because the weather that was not so good.

“These are the holidays and people will always get something but in general they are very restrained. The very necessary things are enough. People are not spending anything extra,” a woman in charge of a confectionery shop in the area of ​​Daphne told TNH. “Others will bring the tsoureki for the celebration, but now this is the only necessary thing he will bring,” she explained, adding that “in the extra gifts he would usually get, Easter baskets and so on, he is spending less there. He will get his tsoureki and the Easter koulourakia, although this year many will make sure to make their own koulourakia at home.”


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