The reasons for the divestment of Munich-based Bosch Siemens Hausgerate (BSH) from Greece, with the cancellation of a multi-million-euro project and the approaching closure of its plant in Rendi, southern Athens, are not only related to the financial crisis and the adverse business climate in the country, but also due to local reactions to its investment.
In 2011 BSH acquired a 150,000 square meter plot in Elefsina, behind the Thriasio Hospital, with the aim of building an electrical appliances manufacturing plant. However, the Municipality of Elefsina blocked the move: In its website, the municipality referred to “a social and environmental crime that must be averted.”
The means found to torpedo that investment was changing the town planning of Magoula, which meant the factory couldn’t be built there and led the German company to the decision to upgrade its plant at Rendi instead, a decision that was never implemented.
The years passed, the plan did not bear fruit and BSH secured favorable terms for constructing units in Turkey, Poland and Russia. Crucially, a BSH official who had been involved in the planning of the project at Elefsina notes that it is the company’s policy to invest where the local community is on its side.
Therefore in September the German firm announced it will shut down its emblematic plant at Rendi by end-2018, with the recession in Greece making this decision easier.