Greek IT rate improving

Greece is converging with the e-Europe indices but the road to meeting European Union penetration levels in information technology is still long, according to the indices for Greece last year. The data published yesterday by the country’s Observatory for Information Society show that Greece is moving closer to the EU index for companies with more than 10 employees. There is also a now common «digital profile» between Greeks and other Europeans under the age of 35 years. On the other hand, small companies with up to nine people, which are the majority of Greek enterprises, remain far behind the basic EU standards. The age group of between 35 and 54 years also lags behind their fellow Europeans in the use of information technology. The indices show a greater present rate of penetration in Greece than in the rest of the EU. In the 2005-2007 period, the portion of households with access to the Internet at home in Greece had an average increase of 11.7 percent per year, against just 6 percent in the EU. However, general use of the Internet in Greek households stands at just three-fifths (60 percent) of the EU average and at half that of the old 15 members of the bloc. After Attica, the regions of the Southern Aegean, Crete and the Ionian Islands have the greatest use of the Internet, which, according to the president of the Observatory, Nikos Christodoulou, is due to the tourism market’s demand for the presence of tourism bodies on the World Wide Web. Another important finding is that cost is no longer an obstacle to entering the «digital society,» at least compared with the cost in other EU states. The survey showed that the cost of acquiring a computer in purchase power units is lower in Greece (537 euros, including value-added tax) against an average of 660 euros in the EU.