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GREECE CRISIS

GREECE

Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu

A Greek restaurant-owner in Berlin is bringing his homeland's current political crisis to life for customers – by creating a menu based on Greece's financial struggles.

Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Chrissidi came up with the idea two weeks ago. Photo: DPA

A Varoufakis platter, anyone? Or perhaps you'd prefer the Grexit plate?

And for dessert, how about the Sweet Angie?

Sitting down to read the menu in Berlin's Restaurant Z, you'd be forgiven for thinking your imagination's got the better of you. Or that you've simply spent too long in front of the TV listening to reports of Greece's financial crisis.

But the Grexit discussion is something restaurant-owner Georgios Chrissisi wants to bring to the table – which is why he's launched a limited edition menu based on the Greek crisis.

Chrissidi was born in Greece, but has spent the last 24 years in Germany. His restaurant in the city's Kreuzebrg district serves up an array of Mediterranean cuisine, also catering for parties and private events.

He told The Local that he came up with the idea for the menu around two weeks ago – and then set about creating seven entirely new dishes for the collection.

Soon after, the Greek Crisis Menu was born.

“At first I had my doubts, thinking people might react negatively,” he said.

“But that's not been the case at all. People laugh when they see the menu items. They find it funny, and they're quite easygoing about it.”

With starters from 'Tsipras' Favourite' and 'IMF calamari' to mains including the 'Schäublexit Platter' and 'Troikaminator III,' Chrissidi has certainly been creative with his choice of names.

A particular favourite is the 'Schäublexit platter,' modeled on German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

The dish is lamb-based, Chrissidi explained – and his reasoning suggests the restaurateur hasn't been overly impressed by Schäuble's negotiating tactics.

“I was thinking of the summer times in Greece, when you try and drive to the beach but you can't, because all these sheep stand in the road and block your way,” he laughed.

Greece might face ongoing financial worries, but at Restaurant Z, everything will be wrapped up in a few weeks' time. The menu will be available until mid-August, Chrissidi said.

The menu has been a talking-point among diners, he added – and has led to discussions about the Greek crisis.

As far as Chrissidi is concerned, a Greek exit from the Euro would do the country no good at all.

“It's not the Euro that's caused all of these problems,” he told The Local.

“Greece would have had all the same problems if they's stayed with the Drachma.”

To fully recover, Greece needs to reorganise itself and sort out the relationships between people and politics, he believes.

And what is Chrissidi's favourite dish from the limited edition collection?

He'd opt for the Varoufakis platter or the Schäublexit, he said.

Reporting by Hannah Butler

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MONEY

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

An economic study has shown huge regional differences in income throughout Germany. So which parts of the country have the most to spend each month, and which are feeling the squeeze?

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

A study by the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans-Böckler foundation reveals stark regional differences in disposable income in Germany. In some cases, households had as much as double the spending money of those in other parts of the country. 

Here’s where people have the most – and least – disposable income each month.

What is disposable income?

The WSI calculated disposable income as the sum of income from wealth and employment, minus social contributions, income taxes, property taxes and other direct benefits or taxes.

What’s left is the income which private households can either spend on consumer goods or save.

The study, which was based on the most recent available national accounts data for 2019, looked at the disposable income of all of the 401 counties, districts and cities across Germany.

Which regions have the highest and lowest disposable incomes?

The study found that the regions with the highest disposable incomes were in the southern states.

Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg had the highest disposable income of all 401 German counties and independent cities – with an average per capita disposable income of €42,275. The district of Starnberg in Bayern followed in second place with €38,509.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: How much do employees really earn across Germany’s states?

By comparison, per capita incomes in the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia were less than half as high, at €17,015 and €17,741 respectively. These regions had the lowest disposable income in the country. 

The study also found that, more than thirty years since German reunification, the eastern regions continue to lag behind those in the west in terms of wages.

According to the WSI, the Potsdam-Mittelmark district is the only district in the former east where the disposable per capita income of €24,127 exceeds the national average of €23,706.

Do regional price differences balance things out?

The study also showed that regionally different price levels contribute to a certain levelling out of disposable incomes, as regions with high incomes also tend to have higher rents and other living costs.

“People then have more money in their wallets, but they cannot afford more to the same extent,” WSI scientist Toralf Pusch explained.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: When will Germany raise the minimum wage?

Therefore, incomes in the eastern states, adjusted for purchasing power, are generally somewhat higher than the per capita amounts would suggest.

That could explain why, even after price adjustment, the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in western Germany continue to be at the very bottom of the list.

Saxon-Anhalt’s Halle an der Saale, on the other hand, which has an average disposable income of only €18,527, benefits from the lower prices in the east.

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