Min­istry re­futes its own data on com­pany en­tries and write-offs

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - FO­CUS BY DIMITRA MANIFAVA

The Econ­omy Min­istry ap­pears to be dis­put­ing its own num­bers, as seen in a com­par­i­son be­tween the data of com­pany en­tries and de­par­tures from the Gen­eral Com­mer­cial Regis­ter (GEMI) pub­lished yes­ter­day by the min­istry’s Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat for Com­merce and that on the regis­ter’s web­site, also run by the min­istry.

The first set of fig­ures, con­tained in yes­ter­day’s state­ment by the sec­re­tar­iat – is­sued as a re­sponse to what it calls “pro­pa­ganda that is ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­der­min­ing the econ­omy” – ap­pear to show that the coun­try is fi­nally re­turn­ing to growth. The GEMI data­base, how­ever, re­veals that com­pany clo­sures ex­ceeded new en­ter­prises in the first half of the year by about 2,300.

Sources from the min­istry un­of­fi­cially ac­knowl­edge the dis­par­ity but can of­fer no ex­pla­na­tion about how it has come about. The min­istry, mean­while, has cho­sen to go on the of­fen­sive and at­tributes the con­clu­sions about shut­downs to “a planned ef­fort by cer­tain po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial cir­cles to dis­tort the real picture of the Greek econ­omy.”

Ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures in the sec­re­tar­iat’s an­nounce­ment, 20,345 new com­pa­nies were reg­is­tered in the first half of the year and the num­ber of en­ter­prises that shut down in the same pe­riod came to 16,994, which leads to a sur­plus of 3,351 com­pa­nies.

How­ever, the GEMI data­base shows that the num­ber of new com­pa­nies in the pe­riod from Jan­uary to June 2016 amounted to 15,659, com­pared to 17,939 de­par­tures from the regis­ter. That en­tails a deficit of 2,280 com­pa­nies in H1.

The dis­par­ity is even more no­table re­gard­ing the data for last year: The sec­re­tar­iat’s state­ment yes­ter­day claims that 43,846 com­pa­nies were set up in the course of 2015, while the GEMI data­base recorded 31,022 new en­tries. The state­ment also said that 24,846 firms writ­ten off the regis­ter but this num­ber grows to 26,837 if one looks into the GEMI data.

If there is a mal­func­tion in the GEMI data­base, the min­istry had bet­ter ac­knowl­edge and cor­rect it. Oth­er­wise, if it chooses one ver­sion of re­al­ity over the other, then the prob­lem is one of the econ­omy it­self.

Ilek­tron­iki Athi­non was one of the thou­sands of com­pa­nies that shut down in the first half of the year. The GEMI regis­ter puts them at 17,939, while the Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat for Com­merce says they were 16,994.

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