Gross domestic product indicates uneven spread in Greek regions

BRUSSELS – Significant regional inequalities lie behind Greece’s average gross domestic product being just 81.1 percent of the mean EU figure in 2003. The poorest Greek regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and of Western Greece lag considerably behind the rest and Central Greece, the richest area, by some 50 percent. The per capita GDP of Central Greece exceeded the EU average (115.7 percent) and reached 20,131 euros in 2003, while in Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, it came only to 10,850. Central Greece is assisted in statistics by the industrial zone at Oinofyta. The second richest region in Greece is the Southern Aegean (with 89.5 percent of the EU average), while Attica is third (86.7 percent). The two regions’ GDP per capita came to 15,572 euros and 15,075 euros respectively. Epirus, usually the poorest region, has now improved its GDP, reaching 11,553 euros per capita in 2003. With the entry of the new EU members, Greek regions are no longer among the bloc’s laggards, though EU-15 statistics still have Greek regions at the lowest spots. The EU-25 average stood at 21,741 euros; London tops the chart with 64,087 euros, followed by Brussels and Luxembourg. All six of poorest regions in the EU are in Poland, with Lubelski reaching just 33 percent of the average.