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Newsletter July 2012


Greece’s Labour Costs Significantly Lower than EU Average

Businesspeople will find Greece’s human capital highly cost competitive, well educated, and linguistically adept.

According to recent data by Eurostat, the average hourly labour cost in Greece in 2010 was 17.5 Euros, compared with 26.9 Euros in the Eurozone and 22.5 Euros in the EU.

In 2011, the hourly labor cost in the EU saw a high of 39.3 Euros in Belgium. The highest hourly labor cost after Belgium was in Sweden, 39.1 Euros; Denmark 38.6 Euros; France 34.2 Euros; Luxembourg 33.7 Euros; Netherlands 31.1 Euros; and Germany 30.1 Euros. Greece also had lower labour costs than the UK (20 Euros) and Spain (20.2 Euros).

Greece’s human resources, following demographic shifts, EU integration, and global trends, respond to the needs of today’s service and knowledge economy. The economic focus of Greece has witnessed significant shifts so that as of the fourth quarter in 2011 roughly 70.1% of the workforce is involved in the service sector, 17.3% in industry, and 12.6% in agriculture.

Greece’s tourism sector has absorbed the largest increase in human resources. Many of the country's post-secondary educational institutions offer specialised courses in tourism studies, with an emphasis on language training. As a result, Greece ranks favourably in the EU for its number of speakers of a second language. English is by far the most widely spoken second language in Greece. English is the language of business on a daily basis, especially in international companies. Professionals in the workplace are well educated and the level of university degrees in management is by far the highest in Southeast Europe.

Greece's "intellectual capital" will continue to be a strong national asset and investors who are seeking special skills will have a host of competitive advantages when choosing Greece as an investment location.

Greece Third in Europe in Photovoltaics
Greece ranks in the third position in Europe in terms of installed capacity of new photovoltaic systems for the period 2010-2011.

According to a survey of EurOb-server'ER, which is supported by the Directorate General of Energy of the European Commission, the Greek PV market remains dynamic, while in Italy, Spain, France, Austria and the Czech Republic it has recorded signs of shrinkage. Germany is first and Austria second.

At the end of 2011, Greece had a total installed capacity of photovoltaics (solar-thermal capacity) of about 2.862,6 MW (Mwth), of which 161,3 MW (Mwth) began to operate last year. The upgraded performance during 2011 placed Greece in fifth place for 2011regarding  the most square feet of new photovoltaics installed, which reached  230.397. On the basis of overall total capacity, Greece was seventh, with 161,3 MW installed. Poland and Austria, with less square footage, had more new photovoltaic capacity.

European Architectural Competition for a New Athens City Centre
The Onassis Foundation is organising and funding a European Architectural Competition for the creation of a new city centre, a project centered around Panepistimiou Street in downtown Athens. The competition is organised under the auspices and in collaboration with the Ministries of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, the Attiko Metro S.A., the Region of Attica and the Municipality of Athens.

The Competition started on Monday, May 21st 2012. Those who wish to participate in the Competition should submit their registration forms in order to be able to download the technical data files of the Competition.

The Competition is open to participants coming from countries that are members of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as countries that have joined the Plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) within the framework of activities of the World Trade Organization.

The Competition will be realised in two stages. The official language of the Competition is English. The winners of the Competition will share cash prizes of a total amount of Euros One Hundred and Sixty Thousand (€160,000).
The deadline for the submission of the first stage proposals is Friday, September 7th, 2012.

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