Business is still on wrong course in Greece


The Greek economy remains in search of a production model that would generate added value and long-term, full-time employment and would not rely exclusively on domestic consumption, as most new enterprises are in the sectors of entertainment and food catering rather than productive fields such as manufacturing or technology. The exception is the tourism sector, which does bring money into the country.

The new study on Greek entrepreneurship released on Wednesday by Endeavor Greece showed that after eight years of recession, the new businesses (whose numbers have dropped 50 percent from 2008) are mainly cafes, bars and kebab shops, while factories are shutting down. In other words, Greeks do not appear to have learned their lesson, either due to financing and bureaucratic issues or to the dominant mentality.

According to the study, which analyzes data from the General Electronic Commercial Register (GEMI), 84 percent of enterprises set up in the period from January to November 2016 have a domestic orientation as they are in the sectors of food catering, entertainment, retail commerce and accounting/consultancy services. In 2012, this rate stood at 88 percent, but Endeavor Greece noted that the four-percentage point shift is not enough to accelerate the transformation of the Greek economy and create jobs.

The only sectors that observed an increase in the creation of new enterprises in the first 11 months of 2016, compared with 2012, were tourism (with a 31 percent increase to 1,347 in total) and medical services (up by 9 percent), which is partly attributed to the downgrading of the state healthcare system.

The data further showed the sectors that suffered the biggest blow last year were retail commerce (excluding food), manufacturing and – again – construction. The number of retail companies dropping out of the commercial register was 955 more than the new entries last year, while the deficit of construction firms came to 640 and that of construction enterprises to 424.