Greeks face austere festive season

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Greeks face austere festive season

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The latest long-delayed bailout is unlikely to make much difference to Christmas in Greece as people come to terms with wage cuts and unemployment.

People may not be splashing out as much but they are still spending, and beyond the glitz of the festive season the money is crucial for the country.

“I believe that it will help, but only in the short-term, not for long”, said economist Anastasia Thoma. “Very big changes… our country needs to make very big changes to have a real recovery.”

In Athens retailers said compared to previous seasons this Christmas has been very poor so far and will do little to make up for a disastrous year.

Thousands of shops and small businesses have closed down since the crisis started, and people have far less to spend. Many have turned to second-hand shops, making those store owners some of the few to benefit from the dire situation.