Greeks celebrate Easter despite austerity measures

10:43, April 04, 2010      

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Despite austerity measures implemented by the Greek government, the usual exodus from Athens and other big cities to the countryside for the Easter holiday is even larger than last year.

There was heavy traffic on all roads leading out of Athens on Good Friday, as city dwellers quit the capital to spend their Easter in the countryside.

Traffic police reported that a total of 750,000 cars have left the city of roughly 5 million in the past week, a higher number than in 2009, when 710,000 cars left the capital in the same period.

The trend was confirmed on Thursday when 192,000 cars left the city, or 15,000 more than last year.

Despite the harsh measures adopted by the government this year, most Greeks keep alive the festive spirit.

At least 700,000 lambs will be consumed all over Greece this year on Easter Sunday during festive family lunches, according to estimates.

The demand for meat these days remains high despite the economic crisis.

Prices were kept at last year's levels so that consumers could afford the cost of food and other products.

In the busy Ermou street in the center of Athens, stores with clothes and shoes make discounts that reach up to 30 percent to customers, while hoteliers throughout Greece keep prices to last year's levels and make attractive offers to Greeks who choose to celebrate Easter away from Athens and other big cities.



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