Friday August 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Greek bond yields dip as investors anticipate ratings upgrade
Greek exporters worried about impact of Russia sanctions
Traders unhappy with turnover
No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit
Large fire breaks out near Corinth
Firefighters on Friday were trying to bring under control a large blaze that broke out shortly after noon in the Prefecture of Corinth in the northern Peloponnese. Five water-dumping craft a...
Jean-Claude Juncker to make first official visit to Athens on Monday
European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker is expected in Athens on Monday, where he will be meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the Commission announced on Frida...
Inside News
SOCCER
One win and one loss in Europa League
Greece had a hit and a miss in the first-leg games for the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, as Atromitos scored a 2-1 win at Sarajevo while Asteras Tripolis lost 1-0 ...
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
In trying to conquer, Putin unites Europe
President Vladimir Putin is obliged to feign indifference to the sanctions that the European Union and the United States imposed on Russia this week. But, being the player that he is, he mus...
EDITORIAL
Our own worst enemies
A new study has come to exemplify the cliche notion that Greeks find it easier to excel abroad, where they fare much better than they do at home. According to research by epidemiologist John...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Large fire breaks out near Corinth
2. Jean-Claude Juncker to make first official visit to Athens on Monday
3. Britons stranded at sea off Zakynthos towed to safety
4. Greek bond yields dip as investors anticipate ratings upgrade
5. Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case
6. Greek exporters worried about impact of Russia sanctions
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece evacuates embassy staff, foreign nationals from Libya
2. Greek exporters worried about impact of Russia sanctions
3. Greek bond yields dip as investors anticipate ratings upgrade
4. Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case
5. Britons stranded at sea off Zakynthos towed to safety
6. Jean-Claude Juncker to make first official visit to Athens on Monday
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
3. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
4. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
5. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
6. What lessons can we draw from antiquity?
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.