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Cash-strapped Greeks hunt for bargains ahead of Orthodox Easter

04-10-2012 14:22 BJT

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In Europe, markets were closed yesterday for Easter Monday, while in Greece, cash-strapped residents reined in their spending over the holiday weekend.

This is keeping a lid on seasonal cheer for retailers as this festive time is traditionally marked by higher spending on treats - like chocolates and decorations. Athenians have had to hunt for bargains this year, as painful austerity measures continue to bite.

Thousands of goods starting at one euro - The Greeks celebrated the start of Holy Week on Monday, but merchants of traditional Easter products, including candles, sweets and lamb, say business is down compared to last year.

They say austerity-hit Greeks spent less in the run-up to their Easter this Sunday.

Giorgos Hronakis, Athens bargain shop vendor, said, "They’re buying less and more useful things for their homes. Apart from Easter things, only a few other things are being bought now. They’re buying candles as cheaply as they can for their godchildren, their son or daughter because of the crisis. People are suffering."

Prices of traditional candles used for the Resurrection mass were at least 30 percent down compared to last year. But Giorgos added business still dropped by at least 50 percent.

Themis Matsouka, owner of a nut and confectionary shop for more than 50 years, said times are tough and customers are making do with just the necessities and shunning the treats. At Athens’ main meat market, people were still buying traditional lamb for their Easter meal, but were buying less.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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