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There are glimmers of hope for the Greek government with signs that the economy may grow in 2014 and high unemployment dropping slightly, but it appears this optimism hasn’t yet trickled down to Athenians out doing some last minute Christmas shopping.
There is a common feeling that the time hasn’t come yet to loosen their purse strings
Store clerk, Panagiotis Kazerakis says: “there are a lot of people coming in and out but they’re limiting themselves to buying only essentials, they’re not buying holiday decorations and gifts. They’re focusing on Christmas dinner. The crisis is still very present, it’s obvious.”
Even prices being slashed to entice shoppers to spend more has failed to change attitudes.
“I’ll be spending less than last year, just like the majority of Greeks,” says shopper, Eleftheria.
“We are restricting everything, we just don’t spend the way we used to. Christmas is a tiny exception, but in order to celebrate it it’s important to make cut backs in the months leading up to it,” explains one man out shopping in Athens.
The festive season marks the end of yet another year of protests, painful cutbacks and discontent in Greece. Despite the hardship suffered by many Greeks, there is a hope that Christmas 2014 may bring better fortune for many.