Is the Greek economic crisis over? Below some observations by Project Manager/Business Analyst at Zacks Investment Research, Harry Kougias, A Greek expat in US, who spent 4 months in Greece this year.
The Good Signs for Greece
In July 2017, Greece held its first successful bond sale in 3 years, raising 3 billion euros.
2017 is also expected to be Greece’s best for tourism ever. Over 30 million visitors are expected this year, up from 27.5 million 2016. Some islands are seeing so many tourists they’ve had to put a cap on visitors.
Popular Santorini received over 600 cruise boats in 2016. On some days, nearly 20,000 cruise ship passengers would disembark, overwhelming the small island. In response, Santorini joins other popular vacation destinations like Venice and Barcelona, in restricting the number of tourists who can enter each day.
Tourism is 24% of Greece’s GDP. 8 in 10 new jobs were created through the tourist sector.
But even with that success, it has been an uneven recovery. Not every island is Santorini. And because tourism is so seasonal, with many places shutting down in the winter months, it’s very difficult to make a living at it.
The Bad Signs for Greece
Even with tourism soaring, unemployment remains the highest in the Eurozone at 23%. For young people between the ages of 18 and 24, it is much worse. Some put the number as high as 50%.
The result has been a brain drain with many young people opting to move to other parts of the EU to start their careers. It means that Greece is losing the very people who it needs to spark the economy in the coming years.
Additionally, pensions continue to be cut, putting further strains on Greece’s seniors. via nasdaq
PS I wonder what Kougias’ observations are about the over taxation and the capital controls… But the Good/Bad signs are just a part of his podcast.