Taxes, corruption hamper business


High tax rates and the combination of corruption with a lack of transparency top the list of the most important obstacles to entrepreneurship in Greece, according to a survey conducted by MRB for the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV). The corruption and insufficient transparency combo has risen from the fifth most significant obstacle last year to the second in 2018.

Close behind are political uncertainty regarding Greece’s post-program period, the recession’s domestic financial consequences and the outstanding commitments to structural adjustment, and the inefficient operation of the country’s institutions.

The survey, titled “The Pulse of Entrepreneurship,” was conducted in April and May and was presented on Thursday at a press conference held by SEV president Theodoros Fessas. The index assessing difficulties related to the broader economic environment posted a marginal improvement this year from 2017, but remains below average.

Still, Fessas argued that if the survey were to be conducted today the results would have been different as the business environment can change very quickly. He said the climate “has deteriorated because we have entered a pre-election period, so instead of placing emphasis on accelerating reforms, the emphasis is being put on handout talk.”