The Economist published one more article about Greece on May 4. This article, on a somewhat different wavelength, had the title Greek economy: Daring to hope, fearing to fail, and focused on the prevalent situation in Greece, the hopes for changes in the economic sector as well as the difficulties that still exist.
The article begins by mentioning this year’s lower participation in the May Day demonstrations in central Athens compared to previous years. It then underlined as positive that, despite the crisis, the shopping street of Ermou, which ranks tenth on the list of the most expensive retail streets in the world, remains busy, while in Kolonaki, an upmarket district in Athens, some new shops have opened as rents have been reduced. The Economist also added that a promising sign for the Greek economy is the important rise in tourist bookings to Greece for the coming summer season.
“A turnaround must occur sooner or later: GDP has shrunk by 20% since 2007. The ordeal is not over. Output is forecast to fall by a further 4.4% this year, not least because of more austerity. But the measures are having an effect,” says the Economist. The article stresses the importance of the role of the banks whose recapitalization is now being completed.
With the highest rate of unemployment in Europe, the minimum wage down by 22 percent and more taxes than ever, it is obvious that Greek employers cannot find the way back to development. As far as foreign investments are concerned, Greece remains an inhospitable place to run business, while bureaucracy poses a lot of burden.
“The Greek economy is at a precarious point. Despite the surveys showing a revival in confidence, many businesses remain downbeat,” noted the Economist, concluding that “Greek society, struggling with a youth-unemployment rate of almost 60%, is reaching a limit on how much pain it can endure. If a recovery does occur, it may be in the nick of time”.