ECONOMY

Labor Ministry tears into owners of paper plant

labor-ministry-tears-into-owners-of-paper-plant

Some 200 people have been left jobless due to the closure of the Softex paper plant, with the Labor Ministry accusing multinational owner the Bolton Group of dealing a bad blow to the Greek industry.

The ministry added on Friday that, in cooperation with the workers, it will exhaust all legal means for the Softex plant to continue operating, following the announcement on Thursday of its definitive shutdown. Part of the installations at Votanikos were destroyed by a fire in July last year and the plant has remained closed ever since.

The ministry argued that the Bolton Group used the very small compensation that insurance companies paid out to the Milan-based firm as a pretext for its decision, which has led to the closure of Greece’s biggest paper product plant.

“Everyone must understand that Greece is no longer a country where arbitrariness reigns at the expense of the economy and labor,” yesterday’s statement by the Labor Ministry read.

Softex started to develop the domestic paper industry in the 1970s, but relied on borrowing and excessive investment, so that in the 1990s it ended up with twice as many employees as it required, and in 2002 it was bought out by the Bolton Group. In 2014 its sales declined 10 percent on an annual basis.