As needs continually increase but income remains stagnant, more and more Greeks are resorting to the apparently easy solution of plastic money. »Borrowing, in the form of housing loans and consumer credit (consumer loans, credit cards), has risen by 10.4 billion euros since last year,» according to Panayiota Kalapotharakou of the EKPOIZO consumer union. «Last year, the total borrowed by all Greek households was 37.526 billion euros; this year it is 47.972 billion. This is very worrying, as most get consumer loans to pay off old loans. So it is natural to wonder where they will find the money to pay the installments.» According to EKPOIZO data, two in 10 consumers cannot meet their loan payments, and four in 10 do so with great difficulty. Plastic money has turned into a nightmare. «You even see people paying at the butcher’s with credit cards,» said Kalapotharakou.