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Poor economy keeps Greek people at home

05-17-2010 08:32 BJT Special Report: Europe's Debt Crisis |

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Staying in Greece many debt-ridden workers have cut back on visits to their traditional taverns. The places that used to be bustling are now full of empty tables.

The traditional tavern is to Greeks what the pub is to the British, a regular meeting point, and part of the cultural landscape.

But these days it's a glum scene in the once busy, boisterous venues. The country's new austerity measures which include cuts in incomes, recruitment freezes and tax increases, are keeping people at home.

Anastasioc Stalikas, Teacher, said, "We have to be much more careful about where we spend money and how we spend money. We have to be more strategic about our expenses, about our daily life and our daily life activities, and we have to think twice before you do something and buy some stuff or do some expenses."

Greeks never had any qualms about spending on food and entertainment, and their daily excursions always included a trip to the neighborhood tavern for home-made Greek specialities. But owners say people are staying away and now fear for the future of taverns that have passed from generation to generation.

Anna LAMBROU, Tavren Owner, said, "People have been affected by the measures, they have stopped coming as often as they used to. Our typical customers that came three times a week now come only once in 15 days. The way they order has also changed, they only order one or two dishes as opposed to many, or they just drink and sit with their friends and spend the time instead of eating."

Unemployment jumped to 12.1 percent in February, its highest in at least six years.

Economists expect the recession to deepen as the austerity measures to cut the massive deficit take their toll.

Analysts say immediate measures are needed to jump start the slowing economy or the country will plunge even deeper into recession and unemployment.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source:

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