Research IME GSEVEE- February 2017 – Semi charting economic climate for small businesses



H relative stabilization achieved in the economy in the period from 2014 till today contains largely stagnant elements deGRAFIMAdomenou that incorporates both cyclical and structural characteristics of the crisis. This is because the austerity policy remains at the heart of economic policy as a mechanism of “consolidation” private and public sector; despite the failure of previous years- while preventing or delaying investment initiatives in dynamic sectors of the Greek economy, which will potentially attributed to proliferating a different macro environment more friendly to development. In addition, the uncertainty of the situation with respect to the results of trading accentuate their fears and risks, which become greater for vulnerable small businesses and self-employed.

The full implementation of the first package recessionary measures (increasing taxes on islands, an increase in excise taxes, increased tax earnings factor) and the expectation of vote and applying a second elongated austerity program seems inhibitory effect on growth prospects, which is already reflected in the recent ELSTAT estimate for growth of the Greek economy (fourth quarter 2016, -1.4% compared to the same quarter of 2015). Similarly, no dramatic changes are expected in the first half of 2017, unless mediate important exogenous basically, developments in the economy. With existing data, the forecast scenario for GDP growth above 2.5% in 2017 appears to be realistic.

The business, after seven years of Understanding, adapted to repeat prospects of yet another cycle of fiscal adjustment and austerity, which will run the next 3-4 years. In this context, business strategy becomes a survival strategy, even for those companies that are dynamic and have the conditions for further development.

Although it is clear that the timely completion of the second evaluation will contribute to the normalization of economic klimatos-, its benefits are not expected to diffuse readily throughout the business community. Indeed, more than four in five SMEs are exposed to credit risk, present economic downturn and shrinking work with and not extend the horizon. The economic dualism running through the spectrum of the real economy, has caused intense competitive pressures on small businesses while consolidating flexible forms of work and atypical employment and occupation.

Research IME GSEBEE demonstrates once again that the reduced liquidity, the investment gap and weak financing capacity are dominant problems for businesses, and interwoven with the void of final consumption caused by direct or indirect shrinking incomes and withdrawal of the state. At the same time, private funding and appropriate modern financial tools are absent, while limited the possibilities of mobilizing investment flows through public investment programs remain insufficient.

The smooth functioning of the financial system is also an important parameter to restore the economic climate in a positive trajectory. Red loans to banks amounted to 107.8 billion (Bank of Greece, Annual Report 2016) while total overdue debts to tax authorities and social security funds exceed 120 billion. This means that you should be accelerated initiatives for more effective management of private debt (extrajudicial mechanism, code of conduct, acceleration of justice) without additional bureaucracy, complex mechanisms and inclusive business.

Regarding the quantitative easing program Eur. Central Bank estimated that the inclusion of Greek bonds will mainly be a reset signal of the creditworthiness of the economy, despite a substantial intervention that will boost the real economy and small businesses. However, macroeconomic improvement of the position of the country inevitably linked to the final settlement of medium-term debt, change in European economic policy and termination of various extreme scenarios for expulsion of the country from the eurozone.

In this context declaratory back in the news as international experts and analysts positions expressed in the past – in fact some of them come from the ranks of official creditors of the country (IMF, ECB, European institutes) – who had warned Europe’s political leaders, the IMF, the ECB and the Greek government on the need for effective debt restructuring before the implementation of adjustment programs. The need to restructure the debt reworked 5th Interim Report recently published by the Budget Office of Parliament entitled ‘debt trap’, which seeks to analyze the negative influence that the recycling of debt on growth prospects. Since the beginning of the crisis and the entry into the support mechanism, the IME GSEBEE was reported to need for timely adjustment of the financial obligations in the medium and long level before the implementation of frontloaded adjustment program, which while imposed fiscal discipline terms, eventually undermined any investment perspective, canceling some positive aspects of the program.

The next time the government is requested to take initiatives, within the limited financial and political space available to a) reduce in the medium term the tax burden, especially for small businesses b) to correct certain perverse aspects of the new insurance, particularly in middle income brackets c) to put in place an effective framework for managing red loans and liabilities d) to use all the financial opportunities that generate new investment and jobs Employment.