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Newsletter July 2012

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Legal Framework to Improve Business Environment

In its effort to further boost entrepreneurship, investment, and the overall business environment, Greece has amended a principal law governing business and investment.


The amended Law (4072/2012) covers a variety of sectors and areas, including investment, corporate form, trademarks, realty, marine, port, and fishing matters as well as other areas. The law is designed to streamline a number of areas and bring legislation in line with current marketplace demands.

Key measures related to investment are those that simplify and expand Greece’s important Fast Track legislation, with a reduction in the quantitative criteria to submit to strategic investment, a new definition of “strategic investment” and a decrease in the time to issue licenses.

In addition, the legislation simplifies the procedure for archaeological research related to investment proposals (Greece’s vast archaeological wealth must be carefully protected while implementing new enterprise activities), as well as export-import procedures, and clarifies issues related to previous business plans submitted and those regarding the National Strategic Reference Framework.

We present the amendment provisions of the law in English.

LAW No. 4072 (Hellenic Government Gazette Issue A 86/11-04-2012)
Amendment of provisions of Law 3894/2010
THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC

We hereby publish the following Law which was adopted by the Hellenic Parliament:

CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1
Concepts and Definitions

1.1. For the purposes of the implementation of the provisions of this Law, Strategic Investments shall be construed as the productive investments, which generate quantitative and qualitative results of major significance for the overall national economy, and which facilitate the country's exit from the economic crisis. They relate particularly to the construction, reconstruction, expansion or modernization of infrastructure and networks regarding the following sectors:  (a) industry, (b) energy, (c) tourism, (d) transport and communications, (e) provision of health services, (f) waste management, (g) projects of high-end technology and innovation, provided that they meet at least one of the following conditions:
(a) the total investment cost exceeds one hundred million Euros (€ 100,000,000), irrespective of the investment sector, or
(b) the total investment cost exceeds fifteen million Euros (€ 15,000,000), in case of investment in the sector of industry within already organized receptors according to applicable provisions, or three million Euros (€ 3,000,000), in case of investments which constitute approved projects within the framework of the JESSICA portfolio fund established pursuant to the ministerial decision no. 35996/EYS 5362 (1388/B/2010), as in force at times, based on the procedure specified under par. 1 of article 1  and par. 1 and article 5 of the above decision or
(c) the total investment cost exceeds forty million Euros (€ 40,000,000), while at the same time the investment in question creates at least one hundred twenty (120) new jobs, or
(d) the investment in question creates, in a viable and sustainable manner, at least one hundred fifty (150) new jobs.
2. The Strategic Investments shall be realized by either the Government or individuals or through public-private partnerships, pursuant to Law 3389/2005 (Government Gazette, Issue 232 Α΄), or through mixed contracts. The application for the assessment of the inclusion of Strategic investments into the Strategic Investments Procedure shall be submitted by the developer.

To continue reading the amendment to the law, please click here.


Greek-style Yoghurt Sales Soar in the United States

The sales of Greek-style yoghurt in the United States will soar to 2.0 billion US dollars this year from 35.4 million dollars five years ago, as US consumers seem to appreciate more Greek-style yoghurt, as reported by the Greek Embassy in San Francisco. (Source: ANA)

June 19, 2012
ANA


Greece Hosts Posidonia 2012
Among the most prestigious maritime events worldwide, Posidonia took place June 4-8 in Athens. More than 18,500 people from 90 countries attended the exhibition featuring 1,857 exhibitors.

“Greek shipping is still an international pioneer and preserves its ties with the local production sector, while preparing to meet the challenges of an uncertain future despite the terrible global crisis and the tough days our country is experiencing,” Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE) president Theodoros Veniamis underlined in a message on the occasion of Posidonia 2012.

“A merchant marine fleet of 3,325 ships, constantly upgraded, with a capacity of 227 million dwt, and an average vessel age of 10.5 years all under flexible and creative management can justify optimism for the day after,” Veniamis stressed, adding that this year’s Posidonia breaks a new record in terms of participation.

June 12, 2012
ANA

Incentives to Establish Businesses in Industrial Areas and Business Parks
A joint Ministerial decision provides for natural or legal persons who are located in, or intend to locate in, business parks and industrial areas are exempt from real estate transfer and donation taxes.

Specifically, exempt from tax are contracts of purchase or donation of land in full ownership or in usufruct, located within business parks and industrial areas.

In order for businesspeople to enjoy these tax exemptions certain conditions must be met:
a) no further transfer to a third party for any cause or right of usufruct in favour of a third party of the acquired land for five years from the date of signing the contract
b) the issuance of an operating permit in the acquired land of business activity within a period of five years from the date of signing the contract, and the prohibition of withdrawal within five years from the date of issue.

Crete Coast Receives Golden Prize
The coast of Ierapetra, Lassithi prefecture, on Crete received the Golden Prize awarded by the Coastal & Marine Union – EU CC Quality Coast programme, at a special event in Torres Verdas in Portugal.

Ierapetra Mayor Sifis Anastassakis received the Quality Coast policy award and said that its coasts are among Europe’s top 10 and receiving the distinction is a certification of their high environmental quality, the area’s rich cultural heritage and the preservation of local traditions.
An international jury evaluated roughly 1,000 international tourist destinations from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.

Ierapetra received the Golden Prize, coming second to the Azores, that were awarded the Platinum Prize.

With the Quality Coast programme, the Coastal & Marine Union -EUCC aims to establish a world-wide network of coastal communities that share similar values on sustainable development, nature and biodiversity, cultural heritage and identity, and social responsibility, at the same time maintaining high standards in the quality of their tourism.

May 22, 2012
ANA

Fibre Optic Cable Project Resumed
OTEGLOBE, a subsidiary of Greece’s largest telecoms provider OTE, and LITC-Libya International Telecommunication Company, have announced the resumption of construction on Silphium, the new submarine fiber optic cable in the Mediterranean linking Derna in Libya to Chania in Crete. Measuring 425 kilometres in length, it is considered to be the world’s longest cable in the world not using a signal to resend technology. The cable, whose installation is expected to be completed by year’s end, is capable of providing speeds of up to ½ terabits per second at full capacity.

Measuring 425 kilometres in length it is considered to be the longest cable not using a signal to re-send technology in the world. It is capable of providing speeds up to 1.2 terabits per second at full capacity.

OTEGLOBE is responsible for the provision of international telecommunications services.