EBRD: Only 1 pct of Greek households see improvement since 2011

The vast majority of Greek households report that things have deteriorated in the period 2011-2016, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in its Life in Transition report.

EBRD officials presenting the report in Athens on Wednesday said that only 1.0 pct of Greek households said the situation was better today compared with four years ago, while in Germany 33 pct of households said things were better. A 6.0 pct of Greek households said the political situation was better today compared with four years ago, down from 17 pct in Germany and 9.0 pct in Italy, while a 12 pct of Greek households said corruption was down in the four-year period, compared with 10 pct in Italy and 16 pct in Germany. Only 10 pct of Greek households was satisfied with its current financial situation, from 55 pct in Germany and 33 pct in Italy.

According to the report, 92 pct of Greek respondents said the crisis affected them “a fair amount” or “a lot”. In addition, 76 per cent of respondents experienced a negative income shock such as reduced wages or pensions, job losses, delayed or suspended wages and decreased working hours between 2010 and 2016 compared with the one in two households in the transition region and about one in three in western Europe in 2008-10.

Almost 44 per cent of Greek households saw their wages or pensions reduced during 2010-16. In more than 24 per cent of the interviewed households, at least one member lost their job. Over 51 per cent of affected Greek households reduced their consumption of necessities, such as staple foods and medicines, as a result of the crisis.

“Compared to eastern European households interviewed as part of LiTS II in 2010 (who also reported a deep impact of the recent crisis), Greeks have had to resort to cutting the consumption of necessities, non-necessities and services to a greater extent,” the report says. Greece has the lowest proportion of respondents satisfied with their lives of all the 34 countries surveyed.

After enduring a number of extremely difficult years, the picture going forward for Greeks does not appear much rosier. Only 16 per cent of the respondents in Greece believe their situation will improve over the next four years, compared with 48 per cent in post-communist countries and 35 and 23 per cent in Germany and Italy, respectively.