The Economy Ministry appears to be disputing its own numbers, as seen in a comparison between the data of company entries and departures from the General Commercial Register (GEMI) published on Monday by the ministry’s General Secretariat for Commerce and that on the register’s website, also run by the ministry.
The first set of figures, contained in yesterday’s statement by the secretariat – issued as a response to what it calls “propaganda that is irresponsible and undermining the economy” – appear to show that the country is finally returning to growth. The GEMI database, however, reveals that company closures exceeded new enterprises in the first half of the year by about 2,300.
Sources from the ministry unofficially acknowledge the disparity but can offer no explanation about how it has come about. The ministry, meanwhile, has chosen to go on the offensive and attributes the conclusions about shutdowns to “a planned effort by certain political and financial circles to distort the real picture of the Greek economy.”
According to the figures in the secretariat’s announcement, 20,345 new companies were registered in the first half of the year and the number of enterprises that shut down in the same period came to 16,994, which leads to a surplus of 3,351 companies.
However, the GEMI database shows that the number of new companies in the period from January to June 2016 amounted to 15,659, compared to 17,939 departures from the register. That entails a deficit of 2,280 companies in H1.
The disparity is even more notable regarding the data for last year: The secretariat’s statement yesterday claims that 43,846 companies were set up in the course of 2015, while the GEMI database recorded 31,022 new entries. The statement also said that 24,846 firms written off the register but this number grows to 26,837 if one looks into the GEMI data.
If there is a malfunction in the GEMI database, the ministry had better acknowledge and correct it. Otherwise, if it chooses one version of reality over the other, then the problem is one of the economy itself.