In 2013, the future was unclear for Greece. The unemployment rate was at a troubling 28%, the country was unable to print currency and debt was 177% of GDP. Fortunately, over the last five years, the economy began to expand. This is due to decrease in government spending and the increase of incentives, like the Real Estate Golden Visas.
Greece is positioned in a prime trade location and operates five crucial ports that serve European, Middle Eastern and African countries. The inexpensive real estate market coupled with a less competitive market for global companies makes Greece an enticing market for global companies looking to grow, partner with, or acquire businesses.
Greece still utilizes an archaic tax structure, which allows for widespread tax evasion and permits corruption and bribery to flourish. Nearly nine out of ten Greek citizens and businesses report a belief that bribery or the use of connections is the easiest way to obtain public services (Eurobarometer 2017).
Greece recently amended the Criminal and Criminal Procedures Code, which changed the offense for bribery from a felony to a misdemeanor. This change could bring large ramifications in its efforts to combat corruption.
In the 2018 Transparency International Report, Greece ranked 67th out of 180 countries it analyzed for corruption and bribery; receiving a 45 on a 100-point scale. Surrounding European nations have begun to push Greece to restructure its tax regulations to achieve prosperity and fairness. The Council of Europe has asked Greece to improve its legal framework and enforcement in 2019.