ECONOMY

Greece among EU?s top hubs for counterfeit goods

Although the volume of counterfeit goods confiscated in Greece in 2011 fell to less than half the level recorded in 2010, the country still figured in third place in the European Union as regards this particular illegal activity, according to European Commission data. In the same year there was a sharp proliferation of cases in Bulgaria and Italy, which figure at the top of the list, with volumes more than triple those in Greece.

In 117 cases identified in Greece in 2011 (against 176 in 2010), the number of counterfeit items confiscated came to more than 9.66 million, against 22.35 million a year earlier. This amounted to 8.42 percent of the European total.

The reduction is attributed to weaker policing and the recession, which has weighed heavily on disposable incomes.

According to the Commission report, the overwhelming number of counterfeit goods (72.95 percent) were of Chinese origin, while 7.67 percent were from Hong Kong and 4.79 percent from Greece. Some 12.6 percent of contraband cigarettes intercepted in the EU originated in Greece.