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flag Greece Greece: Economic and Political Outline

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline

 

Economic Indicators

2013 was the sixth consecutive year of economic decline, with the Greek GDP shrinking by -4.2%. This was nevertheless an improvement on the previous year (-6%) and a return to positive numbers is expected in 2014.

The troika (IMF, EU, ECB) has continued to exert pressure on the Greek government and has forced it to reduce labour costs in an effort to increase the country's competitiveness. The conservative government has also amanged to restore public finances and register a surplus. The country's long-term rating has been increased by rating agencies which have seen the economy is returning to equilibrium. Prices begin to fall and consumption bottomed out. However, the debt has continued to rise and has reached historical levels (more than 176% of the GDP) and the privatisation programme and the job reduction plan for the public sector have encountered great difficulties. The government's key objective is still to reduce the budget deficit and the state debt and to improve the business climate in order to sustain economic recovery.

The country is facing a dramatic rise in unemployment, which now affects over a quarter of the workforce and more than 60% of people under the age of 25, as well as a proliferation of general strikes and other social protests against the austerity measures. The social-economic crisis has also been accompanied by a silent environmental crisis.

 
Main Indicators 20112012201320142015 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 290.15248.56241.80e246.40252.42
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -7.1-7.0-3.9e0.62.9
GDP per Capita (USD) 26,08522,34721e22,318e22,886
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -8.3-2.31.6e1.6e1.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 170.3157.2175.1e174.2171.0
Inflation Rate (%) 3.31.5-0.9-0.80.3
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 17.724.227.325.823.8
Current Account (billions USD) -28.61-6.181.77e1.72e0.27
Current Account (in % of GDP) -9.9-2.50.70.70.1

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database , Last Available Data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

Traditionally, the Greek economy has been based on agriculture. The sector represents 3% of the GDP and employs around 12% of the workforce. The main crops are tobacco (largest European producer) and cotton (fifth largest exporter in the world). Greece also has a significant ovine livestock and a large fishing industry is found in coastal regions.

Thanks to the economic diversification led by the government, industry has replaced agriculture as a second source of income after services, and accounts for around 20% of the GDP. The main sectors are: electronic goods, transport materials, clothing and construction. More specifically, Greece is the largest European ship owner.The tertiary sector accounts for nearly three quarters of the GDP and employs two thirds of the workforce. Tourism provides a vital source of income and alone contributes 11% of the GDP. Marine fishing represents 10% of the GDP.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 13.0 16.7 70.3
Value Added (in % of GDP) 3.8 13.8 82.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) -7.7 -10.1 -1.6

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

 
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20092010201120122013
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 0.720.760.720.780.76

Source: CIA - The world factbook - Last Available Data.

 
 

Learn more about Market Analyses about Greece on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
55.7/100
Position:
Mostly Unfree
World Rank:
119/178
Regional Rank:
40/43

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2014 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation

 

Business environment ranking

Definition:

The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

Score:
5.69
World Rank:
62/82

Source: The Economist - Business Environment Rankings 2014-2018

 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

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Foreign Trade in Figures

Greece has an export-oriented economy, trade representing more than 50% of the GDP (WTO, average data for 2010-2012). Its main trading partners are the European Union (especially Italy and Germany) and the United States.

Structurally in deficit, the trade balance has improved since the beginning of the crisis due to the imports declining more quickly than exports. This trend should become more pronounced in 2014 given the expected resumption in exports, which increased by 2.5% in 2013.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20092010201120122013
Imports of Goods (million USD) 67,77563,79360,86763,20262,154
Exports of Goods (million USD) 20,46921,71331,68335,47936,493
Imports of Services (million USD) 19,44119,87519,21015,75814,428
Exports of Services (million USD) 37,38537,58839,64534,96236,810
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -19.6-5.5-9.0-9.1-1.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -18.54.60.01.22.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 29.430.732.332.733.2
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 19.022.125.528.230.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -42,857-37,552-37,884-25,281-22,904
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -25,054-20,259-17,339-5,996-386
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 48.452.857.861.063.4

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2013
Turkey 11.7%
Italy 8.9%
Germany 6.5%
Bulgaria 5.1%
Cyprus 4.2%
See More Countries 63.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2013
Russia 14.4%
Germany 9.6%
Iraq 7.8%
Italy 7.6%
China 4.8%
See More Countries 55.8%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
 

Main Products

- bn USD of products exported in 2013
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 37.6%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.5%
Plates, sheets and strip, of aluminium, of a...Plates, sheets and strip, of aluminium, of a thickness of > 0,2 mm (excl. expanded plates, sheets and strip) 1.8%
Olive oil and its fractions obtained from the...Olive oil and its fractions obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions that do not lead to deterioration of the oil, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified 1.8%
Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and...Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 1.6%
See More Products 53.6%
- bn USD of products imported in 2013
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 26.3%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 7.1%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.8%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.1%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo...Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 2.6%
See More Products 56.1%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
See More Products
More imports (Intracen Data)
More exports (Intracen Data)
 
 
 

Main Services

- bn USD of services exported in 2011
51.20%
38.15%
5.57%
1.46%
1.35%
1.29%
0.46%
0.33%
0.18%
- bn USD of services imported in 2011
53.29%
16.70%
10.08%
7.88%
2.95%
2.92%
2.64%
2.36%
1.18%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Ministry of Development (in Greek)
Ministry of agriculture
Ministry of national economy
Ministry of commercial shipping
Statistical Office
The National Statistical Service of Greece
Central Bank
Central Bank of Greece
Stock Exchange
Athens exchange
Search Engines
Gogreece
Economic Portals
Capital
Imerisia

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Political Outline

Executive Power
According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government; after 1986, however, the role of the President in the executive branch is ceremonial. The position of Prime Minister, Greece's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the Parliament. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister exercises vast political power, and the amendment of 1986 further strengthened his position to the detriment of the President of the Republic.
Legislative Power
Legislative power is exercised by a 300-member unicameral Parliament. Statutes passed by the Parliament are promulgated by the President of the Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the President of the Republic is obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier on the proposal of the Cabinet, in view of dealing with a national issue of exceptional importance. The President is also obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier, if the opposition manages to pass a motion of no confidence.
Main Political Parties
- Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA): left-wing anti-establishment, populist, anti-austerity
- New Democracy: centre-right
- The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK): centre-left, social-democratic
- Golden Dawn (XA): far right, anti-immigration
- Independent Greeks (AE): right-wing, anti-immigration, but economically more left and anti-austerity
- Communist Party of Greece (KKE): Marxist-Leninist
- Democratic Left (DIMAR): social-democratic
Current Political Leaders
President: Karolos Papoulias (since 2005) - PASOK
Prime Minister: Alexis Tsipras (since 26 January 2015) - SYRIZA
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2015
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
99/180
Evolution:
15 places down compared to 2013

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
2/7

Map of freedom 2014
Source: Freedom House

 

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Last Updates: January 2015