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Businesses demand entrepreneurship without barriers

01 December 2010 / 18:12:12  GRReporter
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Industrialists, manufacturers, merchants and businessmen from all major sectors of the Greek economy got down to work and prepared a guide containing 250 obstacles to business development. Entrepreneurship without Barriers contains 30 of the most pressing problems for the Greek business and their solutions that should be regulated by the government so that we really start to talk about the recovery of local economy.

The list includes pressing issues affecting the management of the market, tax and banking systems, import and export, productivity, public administration and many other obstacles that hamper entrepreneurship in the country every day rather than helping it.

Proposals to the banking sector are to eliminate fees on credit contracts that burden the client with 0.6% of the consumer loans value and with 0.12% of the mortgage loansvalue. The proposal of the business is to eliminate any additional charges for servicing the loans – they are expensive and do not help the economy in times of reduced demand and lower liquidity.

To facilitate commercial transactions entrepreneurs recommend Customs offices to change their working hours to avoid having trucks and cargo goods waiting for permits and documentation between Friday evening and Monday morning. The cost of stay raises the end consumer price and aggravates the procedures for the merchants. Another problem associated with the activities of the Customs is the salary of the employee engaged in taking out of bond. This cost varies between 3% -5% of the value of the imported goods and is paid in the form of fees but according to tax regulations it can not be deducted as an expense in the balance when calculating the profit before taxes.

Export problems are related to wasting time and money while companies are waiting for permits and documentation for transactions involving distribution of goods outside the country. The Greek businessmen quoted World Bank study, according to which 20 working days, five different permits and about 1153 dollars are needed in Greece to export goods from the country. Another difficulty that is faced by local exporters is the compulsory registration of companies in the Chamber of Exporters, without which they are not allowed to offer their goods on international markets or to participate in exhibitions abroad. Their suggestions are to minimize the administrative procedures and to eliminate the compulsory registration of exporters in the Chamber so that to reduce the barriers to domestic producers and merchants. The businessmen also propose the 0.15% levy on all imported goods, the amount of which is paid to the foreign trade strengthening account, to be cancelled.

Exhausted by administrative errors Greek entrepreneurs insist on radical reform of the tax system which will allow fast and accurate processing of data. They offer zero tax for the first five years for start-ups in the field of innovation and high technology. As for corporate taxation, the business offers assets like real estate that house the production activities to be subject to lower tax. The proposal for the postal services is to impose VAT on services offered by the Greek National Post. So far, they are exempt from the VAT payment, which, however, applies to courier services provided by private companies. This rule violates the principles of competitiveness and free market.
The list of proposals to facilitate the business continues and especially impressive is the idea to recognize Saturday as a working day allowing the employee to choose to rest in one of the weekdays. The aim is to keep the five-day workweek but to eliminate the payment of overtime that additionally burdens the budgets of private enterprises. Another proposal concerning the staff management is revising the list of unhealthy jobs created in 1974. According to the entrepreneurs, it is outdated and today technological development compensates human labour in many sectors of the economy.

The guide-book Entrepreneurship without Barriers was prepared after surveying the commercial-industrial unions in the country under the supervision of the Union of Greek Industrialists. The recommendations were formally submitted to the Minister of Economy and Regional Development Michalis Chrysochoidis who welcomed the business’ initiative and pledged that the government will take into account the recommendations included in the list.

Tags: EconomyCompaniesCrisis
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