ECONOMY

Retail turnover down by 30 pct, ESEE says

The turnover of retail trade in Greece in 2011 has dropped by 30 percent compared to last year, the chairman of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) said on Monday.

Turnover has dropped from 13 billion euros in 2010 to nine billion this year, Vassilis Korkidis said on Monday, rehashing past warnings that a growing number of businesses are forced to pull down their shutters.

Asked about whether there is a hike in consumption ahead of the Christmas season, Korkidis was downbeat.

?People are window-shopping, not buying,? he said.

Tens of thousands of small businesses, which make up a big chunk of the Greek economy, have closed since the country’s government secured a 110 billion euro bailout package from foreign lenders in exchange for painful belt-tightening measures.

A survey conducted by ESEE earlier this month found that Greek tradesmen are extremely worried about the viability of their businesses given their debts and the state of the market.

ESEE has warned the finance ministry that the taxation imposed on corporations is disproportionate to their tax-paying capacity, according to at least seven out of 10 tradesmen in Greece.