Greece: Some 53,000 stores facing possible closure
09 November , 09:48
(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, NOVEMBER 9 - In Greece, traditional commercial stores and small and medium-sized enterprises in general are in dire straits as a result of the considerable drop in consumption and the constant increase in popularity that malls are enjoying as daily Kathimerini reports. A European Commission survey recently presented by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) showed that the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greece shrank by 30,000 between 2003 and 2010. ESEE's own data showed that 68,000 SMEs were driven out of the market from 2010 to 2011, while another 53,000 are likely to close down soon. Some 67,000 jobs were lost in the sector in the first nine months of the year alone. Shop owners are predictably downbeat as more and more stores shut down in every neighborhood in the capital due to the fact that they are unable to service their debts, pay their taxes and withstand the drop in consumption, even though in many cases rental rates have declined significantly in the last two years. Property market experts note that in certain cases rents have gone down by as much as 50%. On average the decline over the last couple of years has come to 25-30% compared with rental rates before the crisis. This year alone the level of rents has gone down by 10-20%, according to Danos/BNP Paribas Nevertheless the number of empty stores is growing by the day.