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Economy

Greek Appliance Maker Pitsos Moving Operations to Turkey

The last of Greece's three iconic appliance makers – Pitsos – will cease production in Greece as its owner, the Germany company Bosch Siemens Hausgerate (BSH) said the operation will close Dec. 31 and moved to a factory in Turkey.

That comes amid a rising tide of tension between Greece and Turkey over Turkey's plans to drill for oil and gas in waters off Greek islands, potential European Union sanctions blocked by Germany, which has 2.774 million residents of Turkish heritage.

The Greek Metal Workers’ Union (POEM) also released a statement, saying that the company’s decision will leave hundreds of workers unemployed, asking Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to try to stop it.

POEM said that BHS-Pitsos’ ceasing of production will negatively impact Greece’s employment and exports but there was no word whether Mitsotakis would appeal to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party belongs to the European People's Party (EPP) as does Greece's ruling New Democracy.

But the Greek newspaper Kathimerini said the government is trying to convince Bosch from making the move that's been delayed since it was first announced in 2018, coming now during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Bosch, which bought out fellow German giant Siemens’ 50 percent stake in BSH, Pitsos’ owner, decided in 2017 it would shut down the Pitsos factory in Attica then but kept pushing it back.

That the decision had been announced several times and postponed once means it is unlikely to be reversed, but the government is making an effort and appealing to the German company,  the paper said.

The problems started when local authorities opposed the transfer of the BSH plant in Renti, west of Athens, to a plot Bosch had acquired in Magoula in western Attica on the grounds of its proximity to a hospital.

Pitsos was perhaps the biggest name of Greek appliance makers along with Izola and Eskimo, which also are gone.

BSH has a factory in northwestern Tekirdag province's Çerkezköy district, which is the biggest of all BSH factories in the world, occupying some 150,000 square meters or about 36 acres, said Turkey's pro-government The Daily Sabah newspaper.

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