by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Jan. 23 (Xinhua)-- Recession-hit Greek depositors liquidated twice as many gold English pounds compared to the number bought during 2016 in order to make ends meet, local newspaper "Kathimerini" daily reported citing central bank data.
For several decades, Greek households traditionally purchase the golden coins as a lifeline in case of emergency.
During 2016, according to the official Bank of Greece figures, Greeks bought 27,080 gold English pounds and sold 56,972.
In 2009, the year the severe debt crisis which brought Greece to the brink of default started, Greek citizens had purchased 180,493 gold coins and liquidated 316,143.
According to bank experts, "Kathimerini" reported on Monday the 2016 trend indicates that after seven years of harsh austerity and recession Greek households are struggling more than ever to cover their financial obligations and therefore cash in on their emergency coffers.
From Jan. 16, 2017, according to a Bank of Greece statement, the gold English pound weighing about 8 grams in Greece is exchanged at about 258 euros (277 U.S. dollars) and is sold at 311 euros (333.7 US dollars).