ECONOMY

PC and Internet use on the rise

The number of PC and Internet users has increased, according to first quarter 2006 data by the National Statistics Service (NSS). Some 37.6 percent of Greeks use personal computers while another 28.9 percent have access to the Internet either at home or at work. Eight in 10 children who are between 12 and 15 years old use a cellphone and nine out of 10 have used a computer. The number of Greek households with Internet access (23 percent) remains low compared to Western Europe, while 55.7 percent of Greeks say they avoid using the Internet because it is not useful to them. This shows that the state and private companies must develop electronic services to make everyday life for citizens easier. Another 10.6 percent cite the high cost of equipment as a reason they avoid computer use, down from 21 percent in 2002. Compared with last year, the portion of people between the ages of 16 and 74 who have never used a PC has dropped by 9 percent. Greeks use the Internet to seek information on products and services (78.9 percent), to send or receive e-mails (58.5 percent), to read newspapers or magazines (48 percent), to seek information on travel and accommodation (40.2 percent) and for games or music (38.7 percent). People aged 16-19 years use the Internet for games and music, 20- to- 24-year-olds prefer sending and receiving e-mails, and 25 to 69-year-olds seek information on products and services.