Record high for red tape

Red tape has tightly ensnared the construction of the country’s largest tourism resort in southern Greece, which requires 3,000 signatures from different government bodies in order for the project to move forward. The Costa Navarino resort in Messenia, the southern Peloponnese, has a total budget of 1.2 billion euros and its construction will take place in a zone that has been allocated for the purpose of tourism development. «In order to move ahead with any investment in Greece, it needs to be allowed by a specific law,» said Achilleas Constantakopoulos, managing director at TEMES SA, the company implementing and managing the investment, «as compared with England, for example, where you can set up whatever business you want to as long as it is not forbidden by any law.» Red tape is often cited by foreign investors as a reason for avoiding setting up shop in Greece, leaving the economy among EU’s the worst performers in attracting foreign direct investment. The Costa Navarino complex will provide jobs for 5,500 people when it starts operating fully and currently employs 1,300 staff on the construction site. In July, TEMES said it is starting procedures to fill 750 employment positions for the Navarino Dunes hotels, set to open in May next year. Navarino Dunes, which includes two five-star hotels and a golf course, is part of the Costa Navarino resort, «the largest tourism project under construction in the Mediterranean,» according to TEMES.