ECONOMY

Greece may miss out on 8 bln euros from shutdowns

The Greek government could miss out on revenues of nearly eight billion euros if an expected 120,000 businesses shut down this year due to the deepening recession, a leading traders group said on Monday.

The National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) said study results showed that Greece may earn 7.88 billion euros less in 2011 due to lower tax revenues, social security contributions, local council tax payments and revenues paid to state power company PPC.

?This figure increases if we take into account other financial costs and social consequences,? it said in a statement, referring to slumping consumer and business sentiment, a hike in jobless numbers and rising crime rates.

ESEE sees a net 120,000 businesses as throwing in the towel this year, taking into account a recent forecast from the General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) and estimates for new start ups.

In a bid to cushion the impact from slumping consumption, ESEE said that it will launch campaign promoting local products.

?We know that we can?t become Switzerland or Singapore but we won?t allow the country to become a Tunisia or Egypt,? ESEE Vassilis Korkidis told reporters.

Commenting on broader market conditions. Korkidis that business aged between three to five years are most at risk of shutting down, adding that foreign retailers operating locally have resorted to agressive means in a bid to boost their market share.

ESEE has said its members will not be open for business on Wednesday, as part of a ?symbolic protest? against government policy aimed at getting the economy through the recession, currently in its third year.

Korkidis accused government ministries of co-ordinating poorly, adding that this can be seen in the way that decisions are being made.