NEWS

Greeks are living beyond their means

How much do average Greeks earn? How much do they spend and on what? Do they spend more on basic necessities than their European counterparts? Basically, how do they live? A recent examination of 2002 tax returns and data published by Eurostat turns up some interesting, if not always promising, findings. Greeks earn little and spend a lot and what’s more, much of this spending is on basic goods and services that are mostly covered by the state in other EU countries. In Greece, sectors such as healthcare and education absorb a significant part of the family budget, placing an unbearable burden on households and making their ability to meet daily costs all the more difficult. Greeks spend a large chunk of their paltry annual income on goods that in other countries are provided by the state. What’s more, the discrepancy between wages in Greece and those in other EU member states is huge (the average income in Greece is 18,900 euros a year, while in other EU countries it is 28,600 euros), making these expenses all the more intolerable.