x

Economy

Despite COVID-19, Greece Open for Business, Economic Adviser Says

September 16, 2020

ATHENS – A growing recovery from a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis stopped in its tracks by COVID-19, Greece is still trying to lure foreign investors and planning more reforms to make the country attractive enough to take a chance on.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ chief economic adviser, Alex Patelis, said wary companies should take advantange of what the New Democracy government is planning and that the country's “economic policies face a subtle, but important, pivot.”

Using Twitter to deliver the message, he said that, “Ample fiscal space and monetary support should be used smartly, and not wasted on handouts or expanding the government footprint in the private sector,.”

The government had pumped 17.5 billion euros ($20.76 billion) into subsidies for workers laid off up to 10 weeks during a March-May lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and to keep their companies afloat.

The European Union has pledged 70 billion euros ($83.04 billion) in loans and grants to help Greece try to restart the recovery that was just beginning to speed after the Aug. 20, 2018 end of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($386.74 billion.)

Patelis outlined key points of the government’s economic policy platform as presented by Mitsotakis at the closed Thessaloniki International Fair that was used as a stage for policy announcements.

That includes cut in social security contributions, a scheme for covering the contributions of the first 100,000 net new jobs created, with additional incentives for the hiring of long-term unemployed; and harmonizing labor laws with International Labor Organization best practices, said Kathimerini.

The government will also present a land-use planning bill setting clear rules for new edifices and simplifying licensing procedures, emphasizing renewable energy, a new public procurement network and further digitizing state offices and bureaucracy.

“We invite global investment to take advantage of our cyclical and structural reforms. Greece is open for business,” Patelis said without explaining why those internal changes would be of interest to them.

Mitsotakis had been wooing foreign investors since he took office in July 7, 2019 snap elections, ousting the anti-business Radical Left SYRIZA that had tried to stymie major developments and had hard core elements not wanting foreign companies in Greece.

RELATED

ATHENS - While Greeks pay income taxes up to 45 percent the government is going ahead with plans to tax multinational companies in the country at a rate of 15 percent, anticipating it will bring in 80 million euros ($86.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The organizers of the longest sled dog race in the eastern United States said Monday they are canceling the event due to a lack of snow on the ground.

THE HAGUE (AP) — The United Nations’ highest court on Monday wrapped up historic proceedings into the legality of Israel’s 57-year occupation of lands sought by Palestinians for a future state, with most voices at the hearing arguing against the Israeli government.

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump has appealed his $454 million New York civil fraud judgment, challenging a judge’s finding that Trump lied about his wealth as he grew the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.