Workers demonstrate against soaring cost of living in central Athens earlier this year.
Louisa Gouliamaki | Afp | Getty Images
Nearly four years after Greece celebrated the end of its complicated bailout program, its people are growing increasingly concerned about their economic prospects once again.
The darkening public mood comes as Greece — like many EU member states — is gripped by soaring food and fuel costs, a trend that has been exacerbated by Russia’s months-long onslaught in Ukraine.
“Greece is safer but not safe,” Michalis Galenianos, an Athens resident, told CNBC when asked about the prospect of a recession. “I think Greece is more stable now than what it used to be. I think and I hope that the financially dark days of the past won’t come back.”
Greece has come through three successive bailout programs post-financial crisis, which, controversially, were dependent on a slew of reforms and years of austerity measures. The Greek economy then expanded by 1.6% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2019.
However, like the rest of the world, it suffered an economic setback in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is now facing new economic pressures with one of the highest inflation rates in Europe.
An estimate from Europe’s statistics office indicated that Greece’s headline inflation was 10.7% in May, rising from 9.1% in April. For ordinary citizens, this is a big change.
A Greek woman from Athens in her thirties, who did not want to be named due to her job, told CNBC she has become more conscious about where she spends her money.
“Especially on gas for my car and electricity. While I would normally forget the heater is on for some time before, now I have become really strict with myself,” she said.
“We’ve already spent a decade being really tight…