Greeks 40% Poorer than in 2008

October 22, 2013
A man searches for food inside a garbage, in front of a One Euro shop in central Athens

Greeks are nearly 40 percent poorer than 5 years ago, with disposable incomes down by a third since the country entered into recession. Financial struggles linger after the 2008 crisis,and the government austerity measures haven’t yielded promised growth.

Gross disposable incomes fell 29.5 percent between the second quarters of 2008 and 2013, the ELSTAT statistics service said on Tuesday in a report. Adding in cumulative consumer price inflation over the same period takes the decline close to 40 percent.

Workers’ compensation has fallen 34 percent since the second quarter of 2009, according to the ELSTAT report. The government, under strict pressure to reduce the ballooning budget deficit, has cut social benefits by 26 percent.

Stability has not returned to Greece, an economic recovery has been slow, if not elusive. The IMF estimates the Greek economy will contract 4 percent in 2013 before showing signs of recovery in 2014.

The economic suffering has made saving nearly impossible for average citizens, with the households putting away 8.7 percent less in the second quarter, 2 percent year-on-year. Domestic consumption has been squeezed out by austerity measures.

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