Missing the investment train

Charges by Spanish businessmen accompanying their prime minister to Athens, who claim that their 2.5 million euro investment proposals for natural gas plants and renewable energy sources are going nowhere, come as no surprise. As already shown in a survey by the World Bank and other organizations, Greece is an undesirable destination for foreign investment capital, first of all on account of its hostile bureaucracy and secondly because of the widespread corruption that raises production costs. According to the latest figures, foreign direct investment reached the astronomical figure of 1.5 trillion dollars last year, 90 percent of which went to countries with an organized public administration and a disciplined society, such as the US, Japan and Germany. Less than 1.5 billion dollars was invested in Greece, and double that amount left Greece to be invested in countries such as Romania and Bulgaria. The country's marginalization means that growth, employment and other key economic indicators have no immediate prospects for improvement. And this means in turn that living standards will remain stagnant.