Problems build up for construction sector

Construction has suffered particularly in the context of the current economic crisis due to the constant shrinking of the Public Investment Program, according to the biannual report of the association of construction companies (SATE) issued this week.

From the third quarter of 2008, just before the crisis erupted, until the third quarter of 2011 some 157,000 jobs were lost in the sector, more than in any other domain of the Greek economy in that period. Compared with 295,000 workers employed in 1998 and 400,000 in 2008, the sector now employs no more than 242,000 people.

SATE found that there are some 6,500 jobs lost every month as a result of cuts to public spending in construction, while the state program has been slashed further in the context of the new agreement between Athens and its official creditors by 400 million euros, shrinking to 7.15 billion euros for 2012.

Last year the original budget of 8.5 billion euros for public investment was curtailed to just 6.6 billion euros, in order to offset the considerable decline in revenues. Consequently one in four construction companies that operated in 2004 has now exited the market.