Pandemic takes heavy toll on textile firms
After having survived Greece’s protracted financial crisis, albeit taking some powerful blows, the textile industry is now going under due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Up until a fortnight ago it still remained a dynamic part of the country’s export industry, representing 10 percent of total manufacturing exports, channeling 70 percent of its production to international markets.
However, the industry’s fortunes nosedived over the last 10 days, with four historic textile mills that had endured turmoil in recent years but managed to survive announcing the suspension of their operations, placing the jobs and livelihoods of more than 600 workers in doubt.
More specifically, on March 18, the historic Nafpaktos Textile Industry in Attica, which has been operating in various legal forms since 1964 and currently employs a total of 161 employees, went out of business.
Moreover, yesterday, textile producer Fieratex, also in northern Greece, suspended the work contracts of its staff until May 15.
“For the need to continue operating in a very critical period, the company will operate with security personnel,” Fieratex said in a statement, adding that “financial consequences cannot be predicted and will depend on the course of the pandemic.”
Also on April 1, the Epilektos textile factory in Attica announced the suspension of operations for 45 days. Its 200 employees have been placed on standby. The company started out as a cotton mill in Farsala, central Greece, in 1970 and became one of the most dynamic companies in the industry.