Greece Woos Investors With Eased Rules

eforiaHoping to reverse the country’s image as unfriendly to business because of corruption and a labyrinthine bureaucracy, the Greek government is proposing to relax regulations and eliminate obstacles that have kept foreign investors from wanting to open businesses. reported that Greece especially wants large developments to help it get out of a crushing economic crisis and would ease visa procedures for investors who want to buy real estate.

The proposal has six aims:

  • The acceleration and simplification of procedures for the attraction and materialization of investment plans
  • Alleviation of counter-initiatives and the provision of additional initiatives for the attraction of investments to Greece
  • Strengthening of transparency and the control procedure of the developmental law
  • Reformation and development of the seaside front of Attica within the framework of the program commitments of the Prime Minister
  • Providing liquidity, especially to small- and medium-sized enterprises
  • Improvement of the institutional framework for the founding and operation of seaplane ports

All work related to strategic and private investments will be concentrated under the General Secretariat of Private Investments, which wants to co-ordinate a unified policy.

The government said it would try to cut red tape associated with getting licenses and various approvals, which often require bribes and pay-offs that have frightened off investors.

The Invest in Greece committee will be given a stronger role in trying to attract business, and tax initiatives are being planned as well. A key element is one-stop permitting so that businesses don’t have to run to a number of different agencies and offices for approvals.