NEWS

Greeks feel food pinch

Some basic food items in Athens are among the most expensive in the world, according to the results of an international report that shows that Athenians need to work more than their European Union peers to buy a hamburger or a kilo of rice. The report, prepared by investment bank UBS Warburg, compared the prices of goods and services in 71 cities around the world in relation to income levels. According to the report, the average Athenian must work for 26 minutes to buy a Big Mac while Dubliners work for 15 minutes to buy the same burger. The respective figure in Frankfurt stands at 16 minutes, UBS said. In order to buy a kilo of rice, an Athenian must work for 20 minutes while locals in Barcelona and Brussels must work for 10 and 12 minutes respectively, according to the results of the study. The Greek capital ranked 37th (out of a total of 71) on a list which compared the cost of acquiring a basket of 122 consumer goods. However, with inflation in Greece among the highest in the European Union, there are concerns as to how much higher prices will rise, especially since incomes are dragging well behind. Local consumers may feel more of a pinch later this year, when companies often up the prices of their goods. The most expensive cities in the world are Oslo, London, Copenhagen and Zurich. On the bright side for locals, the study highlighted that people in Asia work the longest hours, almost 50 days more per year than Western Europeans. In Greece, there are 24 vacation days per year. Only 16 other cities in the world enjoy more paid holidays than Athenians. «Western Europe is very attractive for employees who value their leisure time. The region is relatively generous when it comes to vacation days,» the report said. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro topped the list with workers annually entitled to 30 days of paid holidays.