NEWS

Bureaucracy worst in EU

The bureaucracy and complex procedures of the state system lead to more lost working hours in Greece than in any other European Union state, two new studies indicate. Each Greek spends an average of 207 hours per year waiting in lines at public service offices, according to research by international consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Interior Ministry. Aspiring entrepreneurs also have more problems here than in the rest of Europe, according to the studies that say 30 laws and 15 procedures are involved in getting a private investment off the ground. As for acquiring an operating license, 50 percent of would-be entrepreneurs visited public service offices more than 10 times to get the crucial document, the ministry’s report reveals. According to PwC, Greece spends 16.7 billion euros, or 6.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), on bureaucratic procedures. In the EU, only Hungary has such a high rate, while the lowest rates are in Britain and Sweden, which spend just 1.5 percent of their GDP on red tape.