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Greek CEOs: Too Early to Assess Covid-19 Impact

It’s too early to assess the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the economy and on individual sectors but jobs are more likely to be retained, said Greek CEOs participating in an online event organized by Grant Thornton this week.

With regard to Greek businesses, the Chairman of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Theodore Fessas said he was confident that investment plans would proceed and that jobs would be preserved.

According to a European Commission forecast on Wednesday, Greece’s GDP is expected to contract by 9.7 percent, the deepest recession in the EU. Fessas, who is also chairman and founder of Quest Holdings, said he expected it to be lower.

 

Referring to the impact of the virus on tourism, Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos said that “safe assessments” of the effects of the pandemic cannot yet be made as air travel has not resumed.

He added that the sector, which has suffered the greatest blow, would most likely start recovering in 2021 and reaching 2019 levels in 2023.

Herod Atticus Odeon, Athens © GTP

Herod Atticus Odeon, Athens © GTP

Retsos stressed that coming up with an EU-wide agreement on air travel and health protocols is of vital importance for Greece as 92 percent of its consumers visit on international flights.

In the meantime, he said, Greece was already looking into alternative ways to bring travelers into the country, including entering partner agreements with other countries.

Lastly, Grant Thornton’s president Nikolaos Karamouzis referred to the decisive role of the ECB in the EU’s recovery, noting however that Greece will not be able to withstand entering a new loan program to survive the pandemic.

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