However, what baffles me is that prices in the places we frequent have really not come down, and they are still high when compared to Austria. Let me take food prices as an example.
The Gran Masoutis near our apartment has got to be one of the nicest supermarkets I have ever seen, certainly nicer than anything which comes to mind near our home in Austria. At the same time, my wife tells me that the prices of many, many products there are higher than in Austria.
Today, I accompanied my wife to the Gran Masoutis. In the area for fruits & vegetables I asked her how the prices compared with Austria. She said that most products were significantly more expensive. Most of the products were listed as “Greek origin”.
A couple of things come to mind. First, if incomes go down but prices remain high, then that has something to do with the standard of living. Nevertheless, there don’t seem to be fewer shoppers at the Gran Masoutis than in earlier times. Thus, while many Greeks are truly suffering, some Greeks do not seem to be affected much by the economic crisis.
Secondly, if Greek fruits & vegetables are more expensive in Greece than fruits & vegetables sold in Austrian supermarkets (of whatever origin), then it is unlikely that Greek fruits & vegetables will make it onto the shelves of Austrian supermarkets.
All the talk about increasing Greek exports should focus less on megalomaniac projects like HELIOS (which plans to export electricity to Germany at prices above German prices…) and start focusing immediately and with top priority on those products which Greece already has and has had for hundreds of years – agricultural products.
Agricultural products are renewable every year; the selling of islands is not.