ECONOMY

Cash-starved firms to follow Viohalco’s exit

Time is running out for many Greek industries as they have exhausted their cash reserves, with many likely to follow Viohalco’s example and leave Greece in a bid to gain access to credit abroad.

Most firms in sectors such as food, textiles, steel, aluminum and construction are at breaking point, with their cash flow virtually at zero while banks appear unable to provide credit. Corporate officials are even speaking of stopping payments to suppliers, social security funds and employees if the same situation persists.

Under the circumstances, few were surprised by Viohalco’s decision to depart, with the business world saying it won’t be the last. Certain companies are said to have prepared contingency plans that even include the transfer of their production units abroad, too.

One entrepreneur who is trying to retain a minimum level of liquidity for his company told Kathimerini that “even all four systemic banks combined cannot afford a major refinancing of loans starting from 300 million euros upward.”