The Greek economy is really suffering
Tourism as an economic engineGreece's economy is booming
Greece has a decisive locational advantage that Germany cannot offer: "We have unemployment," says economics professor Panagiotis Petrakis from the University of Athens. If an investor is looking for workers in Germany, he will not find any. He cannot carry out his plan and there is no growth, said Professor Petrakis. In Greece it is different:
"Here it is like this: If an investor in the construction industry or in tourism is looking for workers, he'll find them quickly. He hires people who were previously unemployed. That way he creates growth. It's that simple."
Greece as an alternative for politically troubled Mediterranean countries
The unemployment rate in Greece is just under 17 percent. Thanks to the growth, it is expected to drop to around 15 and a half percent this year.
Many will find employment in hotels or restaurants. Tourism is still the engine of the Greek economy. That was even the case during the worst years of the crisis, because Greece then attracted holidaymakers with cheap offers. And because other Mediterranean countries had completely different problems: unrest in Egypt, terrorist attacks in Tunisia, an attempted coup in Turkey.
"Four or five years ago, the whole region around us was on fire. It was easy for us in Greece to attract new tourists. But we have to keep them now. And we will succeed."
Large and small businesses benefit
There are even foreign investors coming to buy hotels that went bankrupt during the crisis. The investors are renovating the hotels, which is attracting new tourists again. There is already an upswing within the Greek tourism sector.
And what about the tourist areas? The tavern owner Soula in the old town of Plaka in Athens says:
"Personally, as an entrepreneur, I can say: Yes, it's a little better. I don't know how many millions of additional tourists come to Greece. In my tavern there are around ten percent more guests than a year ago."
Growing IT sector
Things are looking up, especially in tourism and the construction industry. There are now more jobs again for well-trained university graduates, especially in the IT sector.
The good thing about the IT industry, according to Professor Petrakis, is that you don't have to invest millions in building a factory first, you just need a good idea and an Internet connection. Petrakis himself heads the department for e-learning programs in Greece at the Athens University. He and his staff develop programs for computer-aided learning in schools, universities and in the private sector.
"If you look around here on this floor, you see about fifty employees. But I have five hundred and fifty employees. Where are the others? Well, they work from home, all over Greece, also abroad - Australia for example. Mine best IT employee lives and works on the island of Crete; he's never here. "
In order to attract even more investors and create even more jobs, the new, conservative government of Greece has cut corporate taxes. In this way, she wants to achieve the goal of actually growing the Greek economy by 2.8 percent this year.
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