Business Environment in Greece
Although the crisis hit Greece later than its European neighbors, it nevertheless plunged the country into a deep recession. Greece had to be saved from bankrupcy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC), however the budgetary restriction measures adopted to restore public finances have taken their toll on growth. The latter was estimated at -4% in 2010. The country recently announced that its deficit would be "very likely " higher than its forecast of 9.5% of GDP. This will have a worsening impact on the debt, currently estimated at 142.5% of GDP. For the foreign observers the Greek economy should not recover before 2012 and only if the country fully implement the restructuring program of its economy.
The government is making an effort to pursue the measures planned in the structural reforms program to which it is bound by the loans it has received from the IMF and the EC. The priority is to reduce the fiscal deficit by increasing taxation, privatizing public companies and reforming the healthcare system.
The country is facing growing unemployment (which is higher than 10%) and a proliferation of social protest movements against the austerity measures.
|GDP (billions USD)||327.33||305.42e||310.37||313.51e||320.23|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-2.0||-4.5||-3.0e||1.1e||2.1|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||29,328||27,302e||27,716||27,970e||28,540|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-17.5||-9.5e||-6.0e||-5.0||-3.8e|
|Inflation Rate (%)||1.4||4.7||2.5||0.5||0.7|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||9.4||12.5||14.8||15.0||14.5|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-37.10e||-31.49e||-25.98e||-24.35||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-11.2e||-9.7e||-8.1||-7.5e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Traditionally, the Greek economy is based on agriculture. The sector represents 3% of the GDP and employs around 12% of the active population. The main crops are tobacco (largest European producer) and cotton (fifth largest exporter in the world). Greece also has a significant ovine livestock. A large fishing industry is found in coastal regions and the merchant navy represents 10% of the GDP.
Thanks to the economic diversification led by the country, industry has replaced agriculture as a second source of income, behind services, and accounts for around 20% of the GDP. The main sectors are: electronic goos, transport materials, clothing and construction. More specifically, Greece is the largest European shipowner.
Growth in the tertiary sector is booming. It accounts for nearly three-fourths of the GDP. Tourism provides a vital source of income and alone contributes 11% of the GDP. Marine fishing represents 10% of the GDP.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||11.4||21.8||66.8|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||3.1||17.5||79.3|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||9.8||-6.0||-1.0|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||365.40|
Source: World Bank
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Moderately free
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Foreign Trade in Figures
Greece has an export-oriented economy, trade representing more than 50% of the GDP. The trade balance is negative and has worsened as an effect of the fall in exports caused by the recession. However, the Greek Minister of Finance recently stated that the figures for the first quarter of 2011 showed a significant recovery in exports.
Greece's main trading partners are the European Union (especially Italy and Germany) and the United States.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||63,619||76,247||89,681||67,775||50,694|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||20,749||23,580||25,651||20,469||20,919|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||15,872||19,692||24,288||19,441||19,797|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||35,490||42,794||49,804||37,385||37,071|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||9.7||9.8||4.0||-18.6||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5.1||5.9||-||-||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||33.2||34.7||35.9||29.3||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||22.6||22.7||23.2||18.6||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-44,285||-57,050||-65,046||-42,836||-|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||-24,889||-34,240||-39,477||-||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||55.8||57.4||59.2||47.9||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|United Arab Emirates||1.0%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||59.4%|
(% of Imports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||58.5%|
Sources of General Economic Information
Ministry of development
Ministry of agriculture
Ministry of national economy
Ministry of commercial shipping
- Statistical Office
The National Statistical Service of Greece
- Central Bank
Central Bank of Greece
- Stock Exchange
- Search Engines
- Economic Portals
- Executive Power
- According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government ; after 1986, however, the role of the President in the executive branch is ceremonial. The position of Prime Minister, Greece's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the Parliament. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet.The Prime Minister exercises vast political power, and the amendment of 1986 further strengthened his position to the detriment of the President of the Republic.
- Legislative Power
- Legislative power is exercised by a 300-member unicameral Parliament. Statutes passed by the Parliament are promulgated by the President of the Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the President of the Republic is obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier on the proposal of the Cabinet, in view of dealing with a national issue of exceptional importance.The President is also obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier, if the opposition manages to pass a motion of no confidence.
- Main Political Parties
- New Democracy
The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK)
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE)
The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)
The Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.)
- Current Political Leaders
- President of the Hellenic Republic : Karolos Papoulias - PASOK (since 2005)
Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic : George Papandreou - PASOK (since October 2009)
- Next Election Dates
- Parliamentary elections : 2012
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 2 places down compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
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