BUSINESS

Hundreds of thousands of firms have shut down

As many as 130,000 commercial enterprises shut down during Greece’s six-year economic recession while no more than 45,000 new ones opened, which translates into a net loss of some 85,000 businesses.

At the same time an estimated 575,000 small and medium-sized enterprises were forced to stop operating, while 265,000 new ones were started.

At least 230,000 employment posts, including traders-employers, self-employed and salary workers disappeared from the sector, while total employment in commerce has dropped to levels unseen since 1999.

These were the key points in data submitted on Wednesday by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) to new Development Minister Nikos Dendias at their first meeting.

"We have to try in every way we can to save the enterprises that can be saved. This is the way to prevent unemployment from increasing and to achieve its reduction soon, to the benefit of the young generation,» said Dendias.

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