The decimation of Greek entrepreneurship has changed the economy beyond recognition, with 16,000 companies “missing” from the last count of enterprises in Greece in 2015, compared to 2014, according to estimates by the European Commission. The declining trend is also seen continuing in 2016.
Brussels believes the number of businesses in Greece came to 613,973 last year, against 630,050 in 2014. This translates, according to the same estimates, to 45,000 fewer jobs and to a significantly reduced added value to the economy. The number of the companies that closed down last year is in fact much greater, as the company numbers also include those that were created in 2015.
Preliminary data for 2016 are not at all encouraging either: Figures from the General Commerce Register (GEMI) show that in the first quarter there were 9,812 businesses written off and just 5,988 new ones registered. This signifies a fresh reduction of 3,824 enterprises within three months.
To understand the blow that Greek business has suffered in recent years, one needs to look back at the figures since 2008: A total of 244,712 have been lost from the economy in the period to 2015, as eight years ago companies in Greece numbered 858,685, according to the European Commission’s records. This has also meant the loss of 842,670 jobs in that period.