Attica has suffered considerably from the six-year economic crisis

By Thanos Tsiros

The six-year recession has hit the 3,827,624 inhabitants of Attica particularly hard. In the region where half the Greek gross domestic product is generated, more than 400,000 jobs were lost, the annual per capita GDP went down by 5,000 euros, and construction activity crumbled 80 percent, according to figures released last week by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Over 60,000 enterprises were forced into closure and the annual income in the region has shrunk by 20 billion euros. Savings of 52 billion euros have evaporated from bank accounts, while only one in every three of the region’s more than 3.8 million residents have a job, a figure which includes part-time employment.

The ELSTAT data show that out of the 3.35 million people in Attica over the age of 15, only 1.33 million still have a job, against 1.78 million who were employed in the last quarter of 2008. The region’s unemployed today number 517,800, of whom 339,270 are registered at the Manpower Organization (OAED).

The rate of those employed on a part-time basis has risen from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 9 percent today, meaning that over 130,000 workers in Attica receive less than 470 euros gross on average, according to the latest figures from the Social Security Foundation (IKA). The number of employees who see delays in payment ranging between one and six months is estimated at 300,000 at least, as across Greece the rate is estimated at over 20 percent.

Three factors illustrate the decline in economic activity in the region which includes the country’s capital: In the whole of 2013, just 3,675 permits were issued for the construction of buildings covering a total of 560,900 square meters. In 2009 they had amounted to 15,347. Car sales in Attica dropped from 144,586 in 2007 to under 28,000 last year. Finally, about 65,000 enterprises ceased operations, accounting for almost 30 percent of the companies in the region.

Attica’s GDP declined by over 10 billion euros in just two years, from 110.5 billion euros in 2009 to 100.3 billion in 2011, according to ELSTAT, and likely fell to 90 billion last year.