Tuesday September 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
‘It’s no coincidence so many businesses leave Greece’

By Xenia Kounalaki

Ernst Prost first came to Greece 30 years ago on a motorbike and toured much of the country. Then, fifteen years ago, the self-made founder of German lubricants company Liqui Moly decided to invest in agricultural equipment and parts importer and distributor S&M. It was then that the German businessman began to understand the obstacles foreign investors face in Greece.

“Greece is a pioneer in red tape, in raising obstacles and being hostile toward enterprises. There are other countries that welcome investors with open arms, but the exact opposite is the case here,” Prost said.

“Whether one is seeking recourse to justice to recoup payments, or searching for plots in the land registry, or looking to finalize contracts of any kind -- say invest in a company, sell something or create jobs -- the state raises obstacles at every step,” he explained.

While Development Minister Anna Diamantopoulou is scheduled to meet German government officials and industrialists in Berlin this week, with a view to attracting investment to Greece, even local businesspeople are opting to move abroad.

In a recent interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the head of German industrialists, Hans-Peter Keitel, said he was favorably disposed toward German investment in Greece but urged Greek businesspeople themselves to stop transferring their money abroad and invest it in their own country.

“It’s no coincidence that so many businesses leave Greece,” said Prost. “It’s because the situation is beginning to get on their nerves. And it’s not that they are leaving only because there no market, but because the entire policy and economic structure is inhospitable. It is also often undemocratic. This country is held hostage by politicians, corruption and an elite clique that exploits the people.

“Businesspeople must be left to operate freely, within a certain framework, laws and controls... If the required climate is not created, not one new business will be set up.

“Greece must rely on its own strengths, seek the intelligence, entrepreneurship and creativity that is in every Greek. I have so many Greek businesspeople friends throughout the world. It’s only here in Greece that these skills cannot be developed because the state, the laws, the administration, the bureaucracy and corruption strangle the good merchant, the good skillful manual worker and the excellent laborer.

“Greece must now rebuild its economy in such a way as to become independent and not need any money from outside to survive. But for this to happen, it will take the consensus of politics, the economy and trade unions. Germany found itself in a similar crisis in 2008. They all sat around the table, the unions accepted pay cuts, the employers guaranteed jobs and the politicians went ahead with structural reforms aimed at creating or preserving jobs. Unemployment is now Greece’s scourge,” Prost concluded.

ekathimerini.com , Monday March 19, 2012 (22:57)  
Deadline looms for struggling Cyprus Airways
Bank of Cyprus expects to relist on Nicosia, Athens exchanges
Bank concerns lead to fresh losses on bourse
Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Navy´s Prometheus brings doctors to remote Aegean islands
Naval support ship Prometheus will be touring the Dodecannese in the eastern Aegean from September 3-11 in order to provide residents of remote islands with primary healthcare, the Hellenic ...
Police seeks identity of woman injured in Thessaloniki hit-and-run
Police on Tuesday appealed to the public for help in identifying a woman who was hit by a motorcycle and left suffering serious injuries in Thessaloniki in August. The accident occurred on t...
Inside News
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Politicized archaeology
Let us suppose that archaeologists discover that the tomb uncovered in Amphipolis was not the resting place of Roxana or Nearchos, but of Alexander the Great. Let us assume, that is, that ar...
EDITORIAL
Moderating expectations
Politics is, to a great extent, all about managing expectations, and anyone who raises that bar too high or too fast is at serious risk of disappointing and losing the people’s favor. In a c...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Deadline looms for struggling Cyprus Airways
2. Bank of Cyprus expects to relist on Nicosia, Athens exchanges
3. Bank concerns lead to fresh losses on bourse
4. Navy´s Prometheus brings doctors to remote Aegean islands
5. Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
6. Police seeks identity of woman injured in Thessaloniki hit-and-run
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Trial over 2013 murder of pawn merchant starts in Athens
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
4. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.