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Greek traders are strongly opposed to the Italian model for liberalization of opening hours

04 January 2012 / 23:01:10  GRReporter
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You talk about a crisis, but over the past year and a half at least five new large shopping centres have been opened in the area of ​​the city and around it in an area of a thousand square metres, which have made significant investments. How do you explain this phenomenon?

We applaud any initiative that brings investment and new jobs. We have nothing against it, conversely Greece needs a stimulation of the economy with fresh money. Of course, this type of retail outlets fell in turnover by 5 to 10 percent as well. We are all affected by the crisis but the amount of damage is different. In any case, I do not think that if large stores open, they harm the small ones.

My point is that if large investments are made then does this mean that investors can expect a lighter 2012 than it is foreseen by economists?

Unfortunately not, 2012 will not be a light year and we all know that. We do not expect this year to bring any growth or improvement. It will be the most difficult trading year for Greece and for many of our colleagues it will be a year of survival. All measures that have been taken up until now with high taxes, excise duties and fines stifle the market and development will not be good. During the first three months of this year it will be clear where things are going, no matter whether it's for better or for worse. We will just see an outline of what our opportunities are and what we can do in the future.

Do you believe that the advent of a new government will help stabilize the situation in the country?

In order to break this doomed circle of uncertainty I believe that elections should be held as soon as possible in order to establish a democratically elected government. We should now be completing with the signing of the second loan agreement and with the participation of private owners in debt reduction (PSI), so we can get out as soon as possible from this situation. This is the only way we can banish the ghosts of complete bankruptcy and the drachma, which have been floating around us lately.

The most important thing is for politicians in the country to provide security in the future. This is the only way to change the climate of the market, to bring back positive thinking and to "warm up" the local economy and trade.

Tags: Greece Italy liberalization working hours economy crisis measures
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