ECONOMY

Traditional Easter to be costly

Greeks are allowed this year to spend the holiday as they like, but not all can afford it

Traditional Easter to be costly

Greeks are this time around – following two years of Covid restrictions – allowed to celebrate Easter however they wish, with dreaming of heading for the countryside, but can they afford it, given the increased cost of food and transport?

Price hikes in many commodities, including essential goods for the Easter spread, as well as in fuel, accommodation, ferry fares and even road tolls will make any hopes of an Easter break away from home too costly for many. If they do choose to celebrate with the traditional lamb or goat, the Easter meal will set them back between 140 and 200 euros, according to estimates by the Institute of Commerce and Services of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (INEMY-ESEE).

The latter has found that the cost of the Easter feast has risen by 13-19% compared to last year, and ranges between €67.70 and €95.20 for those buying 5 kilos of lamb or goat to roast in the oven. However, those who stick to tradition and opt to spit-roast a lamb or goat, the meat they buy must be at least 10 kilograms, at a rate ranging from €9/kg in Athens’ central meat market to €15/kg at their local butchers, taking the cost to between €90 and €150. Spit-roasting also requires 10-12 kg of charcoal, costing €13-20. Conservative estimates put the average price hike in the other goods for an Easter feast for 10-12 people at €54 – from €160 last year to €214.

Now if one chooses to spend Easter away, either at a continental destination or an island, the price is very high indeed: For example, driving from Athens to the popular town of Dimitsana in the Peloponnese – not too far away – the cost of fuel and tolls comes to some €90, up from €75 a year earlier. Booking a hotel for an average rate of €90 per night would set a family back €360 for the four nights to Easter Monday.

Going to the islands is also expensive, as most ferry companies have raised their fares significantly: For instance, a four-member family taking the car to Paros, in the Cyclades, must pay €517, against €455.50 last year.