How much did life in Bulgaria become more expensive, what can pensioners in Romania or Greece afford?
Pricesfood, rent and energy costs are growing unstoppably everywhere in Europe. Data from several countries collected Deutsche Vele
Jan Schmigelski runs a restaurant in Warsaw that is popular with both students and tourists. “Inflationit hit us,” says the 28-year-old man. In June in Poland was accounted for inflation of 15.5 percent – the highest in 25 years. “Within just one year, we had to increase pricesthem by 10 to 20 percent. The prices of oil and meat increased in particular. Visitors are still coming, but it is clear that they are struggling financially and trying to save,” says Jan.
Before, almost no one was interested in the promotions, and now the guests mostly ordered the cheaper drinks. “Hard costs – electricity, social security and rent – are increasing sharply. In the end, there is almost no profit left,” says Jan, who still has no intention of giving up.
Barbara and Czeslaw are forced to save
Retirees Barbara and Czeslaw Geszak are not so confident. Until now, their pensions have been enough for a relatively carefree life, but the consequences are record-breaking inflation it’s already felt. “Until recently, I paid two zlotys (€0.43) for a kilo of sugar, now it costs more than eight zlotys (€1.78),” complains Barbara. She used to make jam with the fruits from the garden, but this cannot be without sugar. The two also gave up on the planned purchase of a new car.
Pricesthey increased and in Bulgaria. According to the data of the National Statistical Institute inflationand in June 2022 it reached almost 17 percent – the highest level for the last 24 years. Some basic food products rose in price the most: flour, sugar, oil, but also coffee. “I used to buy half a kilogram for BGN 5.30, but now it costs BGN 7.85,” says one user.
“Pricesthey in the stores increased by a third,” says Galya, who sells fruits and vegetables in a store on the Black Sea coast. She herself has not changed pricesthem compared to last summer. “And my suppliers haven’t put any higher prices. Only pricesthose of raspberries and blackberries have jumped, as this year the pickers want higher daily wages – between 25 and 30 euros.”
Galya sells fruits and vegetables along the Black Sea
The increase in prices is also visible in the restaurants and hotels along the Black Sea, as a result of which there is a noticeable outflow of tourists. As Galya tells – no cook took a job for less than 100 BGN a day, until last summer they took half. She believes that the promotion of pricesthey were created artificially – by greedy middlemen. Economist Georgi Ganev, for his part, is convinced that the bubble of inflationit will soon burst. “As soon as the free money supply now in circulation is exhausted, merchants will be forced to bring down pricesthem,” he predicted.
In August, Athens looks deserted – people have left the countryside or the resorts on the islands, which after two years of the pandemic are now enjoying unprecedented tourist interest. “We are happy about the tourists, but we are worried about the price increase,” shared the taxi driver Napoleon. Inflationand in the result, for the first time in 28 years, it reached a double-digit number – in July it was 11.6%.
Greeks, who earn an average of 966 euros per month, are mostly stepped on by pricesthose of food, electricity and fuel. “To save gas, many taxi drivers don’t turn on the air conditioning, even though it’s extremely hot,” explains Napoleon. Drivers who earned less than €30,000 last year received a government subsidy for pricesthey on gasoline. “I received 200 euros and I was happy. However, this has to work 12-13 hours a day, which is still not enough to be able to buy everything I want,” says Napoleon.
Prices of vegetables at the market in Athens
Vegetable trader Nikos believes that the state should do more for agricultural production. “Pricesthose of fertilizers, pesticides and gasoline increased by 30 percent. We, the marketers, try not to pass this increase directly to the consumers, because they just don’t make it either. However, we are forced to raise pricesthem.” The increase in food products in July was 13 percent compared to the same month last year. “Customers no longer buy spontaneously, but look for a long time pricesthey are increasingly calculating what they can afford,” Nikos says.
In June 2022 inflationso in Romania was 15%, they have jumped especially strongly pricesthey of energy. Until January 1, 2021, the six million private households paid uniform and subsidized by the state prices, after which the market was liberalized. There are now more than 100 suppliers, but competition has not led to a decline in pricesthem. Quite the opposite – between August 2020 and August 2021 the energy years prices have increased by 25 percent. And along with the war in Ukraine, and sanction against Russia pricesthey continue to grow.
Fruit and vegetable shop in Bucharest
This mostly affects retirees like Daniel B., who lives in a small town in Zapadna Romania. A year ago, he replaced his old wood-burning stove with modern electric heating. But since then, electricity costs have about quadrupled and Daniel has to spend more than a third of his pension on gas and electricity alone. He is pleased that he was able to find a cheap supplier and wonders how his country, which has its own gas resources, has one of the highest tariffs in Europe. On July 27, the price per megawatt of electricity in Romania was 516 euros, while in Poland is 235 euros, and in Finland – 83.
Electricity, gasoline and many food products have gone up in price, such as the traditional local cheese. “We’ve been selling less lately,” says Aurora, who works at the market in downtown Bucharest. “Maybe it’s because the young people have gone on vacation, but the retirees have stayed in the city, and they’re thinking twice before buying anything, simply because everything has gone up in price.”