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21 July, 2024
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How rising costs are changing social lives

The new reality of socializing on 1,500 euros



By Yiouli Eptakili

Katerina P. has a job that brings in around 1,500 euros a month. Up until a few years ago, this was a very decent amount that allowed her not just to survive in relative comfort, but also to have an active social life, to go out with friends for a meal or a drink, sometimes several times a week. Now, whenever her friends send a group message to arrange an evening out somewhere, she checks the menu online before getting back to them. The prices determine whether she says yes or no.

The cost of eating out in Athens has risen to a surprising degree in recent years, and is showing an increasing disparity with other parts of the country. It is surprising not just to the locals who live here, but also to visitors, be they travelers who compare the cost of a trip to the Greek capital against previous visits, or so-called digital nomads who came to Greece for the sun and the sea, in combination with the fact that everyday life was much cheaper here than it was in many other European cities. That – except for the part about the sun and the sea – has changed dramatically.

Whenever her friends send a group message to arrange an evening out somewhere, she checks the menu online before getting back to them

Not so long ago, around five years ago, actually, a couple could enjoy a decent meal at a mid-range eatery for 15-20 euros per person. Nowadays, the budget has gone up to 30 euros per person, at best. It is even higher, at 40-50 euros per person, when we’re talking about more centrally located or upscale neighborhoods like Kolonaki, Koukaki or Pangrati.

The reasons for this are well known and have been dutifully analyzed: From the price of products to energy and rent, it’s hard to find an area where costs have not gone up. But there is another, less obvious reason why restaurant prices have skyrocketed, and that is the massive exposure Athens has seen in recent years as a destination. It has been talked about a lot, inducted into all sorts of international lists and advertised heavily.

As a result, the brand has been bolstered and, consequently, has created the ideal conditions for those who saw an opportunity to raise their prices without delivering the product to justify them.

Cyprus  |  cost  |  Greece  |  prices  |  economy

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