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Economy

Tough Times for Many Greeks Who Can’t Meet the Rent

ATHENS – On top of nearly doubled electric bills, gas near $10 a gallon, food taxed at 24 percent and prices rising out of sight, many Greeks now can’t afford rents that are soaring even during the easing COVID-19 pandemic.

On top of record inflation that’s the highest in 29 years, the strain on households budgets rivals the near decade-long economic and austerity crisis, but worsened by short-term rentals such as Airbnb taking apartment stock out of the market.

A cross-country survey of just over 1,000 respondents by research and communications firm About People find 47.8 percent of tenants are having trouble paying their rent or falling behind each month.

Some 49.1 percent said they can’t save any money and 49.3 percent said it’s next to impossible to even dream about owning a home while 61.7 percent said they are cutting back on spending on everything from clothes to vacations so that they can meet the monthly rent.

Life partners who each live in their own apartments are forced to an earlier than planned cohabitation to cut down on costs although Greek law lets them not to be liable for each other’s debts.

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