Busi­ness in­vest­ment stuck in a rut

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY LEONIDAS STER­GIOU

De­spite the nu­mer­ous struc­tural re­forms the coun­try has passed over the last few years as well as the sixyear re­ces­sion, Greek en­trepreneurs still pre­fer to in­vest in cafes, sou­vlaki shops and hair­dressers rather than set­ting up busi­nesses in the fields of in­no­va­tion and ex­ports, a panEuro­pean sur­vey by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has found.

While coun­tries such as Por­tu­gal, Ire­land and Spain have seen in­vest­ment turn to­ward more pro­duc­tive sec­tors of their economies, Greece, which has im­ple­mented a 63-bil­lioneuro fis­cal ad­just­ment, re­mains fo­cused on so-called non-pro­duc­tive sec­tors, with another re­cent sur­vey show­ing that about 90 per­cent of new Greek en­ter­prises are in non­pro­duc­tive sec­tors.

The EC re­port re­vealed another im­pres­sive find­ing: The few pro­duc­tive cor­po­ra­tions – amount­ing to less than 20 per­cent of the to­tal – em­ploy over 60 per­cent of the coun­try’s pri­vate em­ploy­ees. The irony is that those who have stuck to the usual pat­tern of the Greek econ­omy (with the ex­cep­tion of tourism) have been re­warded, while a num­ber of those who in­vested in be­com­ing more ex­port-ori­ented have suf­fered.

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