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Economy

After Amazon, Google’s First Cloud Region Coming to Greece

September 29, 2022

ATHENS – Despite having a costly Internet that’s the slowest in the European Union, Greece is continuing to attract high-tech giants, with Alphabet’s Google planning to create its first cloud region in the country.

Greece’s New Democracy government wants to make the country a world hub for cloud technology based around a cluster of data centers providing remote technological storage of files, critical backups for businesses.

Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each location being a data center and Amazon’s cloud computing division also opened its first office in Greece in 2021, said Reuters in a feature on the trend that will be lucrative and aid a public sector being digitized.

The deal is estimated to bring in some 2.2 billion euros ($2.14 billion) to the economy and create as many as 20,000 jobs by 2030, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who’s trying to lure more IT business.

“We are very pleased to be announcing our first cloud region in Greece which will provide storage and cloud services for Google customers,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, President of Google Cloud International, announcing the investment at an introductory event in Athens.

The investment would enable organizations to better use their data, provide critical off-site storage and ensure users’ security in the face of cybersecurity threats, she also said.

Adaire Fox-Martin, President of Google Cloud International speaks at a Google Cloud event in Athens on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Google’s Plan Will Create 20K Jobs in Greece, Mitsotakis Says

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday pointed out the government’s choice and vision to invest in and promote Greece’s digital leap, with the aim of improving services to citizens, but also supporting and developing the economy, speaking at the event for the presentation of Google’s investment plans in Greece, held at the “Stavros Niarchos Foundation”.

Mitsotakis spoke of a “silent revolution” that has taken place over the last three years in Greece, with the rapid use of digital technology by the state in the field of serving citizens.

The prime minister initially thanked Google “for its trust during all these years of the crisis which strengthened its presence in our country,” and emphasised that GDP growth in Greece now far exceeds the average, while he spoke of an “explosion of record investments, exports and the most dynamic reduction of unemployment,” as well as the return of young scientists to Greece.

Mitsotakis noted that the state stands by households and businesses, and underlined that he never hid his vision for a great digital leap for the country, outlined in the “Greece 2.0” plan.

He stressed that Google is aligning itself with this direction and its plan for Greece will create approximately “20 thousand well-paid jobs”.

Peggy Antonakou, Google’s general manager Southeast Europe speaks at a Google Cloud event in Athens on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Mitsotakis noted that investments in cutting-edge sectors are a constant priority of the government, not only because they create national wealth and stop young people from leaving the country but also because they mobilise and modernise business activity, and upgrade Greece on the world map of capital distribution.

“This is a permanent reform process in the digital transformation of not only large but also medium and small businesses, such as those in tourism that use digital marketing tools to promote their product,” Mitsotakis said, adding that more than 10 billion euros from the Recovery Fund and the NSRF will be channeled in all production sectors, from the primary sector to industry and services.

He referred to the use of digital technology by the public, emphasising that leaps have been made in serving citizens, and adding that a new institutional reform will help the public and private sectors to also join in the technology leap of the future.

Mitsotakis welcomed Google’s decision to create two centres of excellence in Thessaloniki and Patras, while he said that 10 thousand unemployed people upgraded their skills because of the company’s cooperation with the employment ministry.

He concluded by referring to the words of the founder of Google: “Optimism is important because it helps you to dare things that most people wouldn’t do. We dare, and I’m sure we’ll have you at our side.”

From left to right, Adaire Fox-Martin, president of Google Cloud International , Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Peggy Antonakou, Google’s general manager Southeast Europe attend a Google Cloud event in Athens on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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