News in Brief – August 2023
- State Department – The Greek government has pursued “an aggressive investment and economic reform agenda”, the U.S. State Department said in its 2023 Investment Climate Statements report on Greece. “Greece is increasingly a source of solutions – not just in the fields of energy diplomacy and defense, but in high-tech innovation, healthcare, and green energy, improving prospects for solid economic growth and stability here and in the wider region,” the report adds.
- OECD Forecast – Greece’s economy is expected to grow 2.2% this year and 1.9% in 2024, according to the latest OECD forecast. It notes that the Greek economy has rebounded well from the pandemic. And, despite surging energy prices and uncertainty following Russia’s war against Ukraine, Greece has fared well thanks to increasing investments and exports, government support measures, and implementation of the Greece 2.0 Plan.
- Power Project – EuroAsia Interconnector has awarded France-based Nexans a €1.43 billion, turnkey contract for the engineering, construction and installation of a high voltage, submarine power cable between Greece and Cyprus. The multibillion euro project, one of the most ambitious cross-border power projects in history, aims to connect the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, offering a capacity of up to 2,000 MW and creating an energy highway between Europe and Asia. The project is expected to be completed by 2029.
- Natural Gas – Data from the National Natural Gas System Operator, DESFA, shows that natural gas exports grew 15% year-on-year in the first half of 2023, underscoring how Greece has emerged as energy distribution hub for Southeast Europe. The Revithoussa LNG Terminal was the primary gateway for natural gas imports to Greece, receiving 55.5% of total imports, up 7.87% compared to the first half of 2022. Approximately 17.3 TWh of LNG were unloaded in Revithoussa, of which 41.38%, or 7.16 TWh, came from the U.S.
- Offshore Wind – Greek refiner Helleniq Energy and German power company RWE have signed a framework agreement to jointly develop offshore wind projects in Greece. The two companies told Kathimerini newspaper that they are ready to survey prospective offshore sites that will be licensed for development. The Greek government has announced plans to develop 2-2.5 GW of offshore wind power capacity.
- Hotel Investment – Fattal Hotel Group, Israel’s largest hospitality organization, has inaugurated its 5-star NYX Esperia Palace Hotel in central Athens, marking its entry into the Greek market. Located close to Syntagma Square, the property is housed in a renovated 1970s building and offers 212 rooms.
- Golden Visa – Non-European Union nationals have invested some €1 billion in the first five months of the year to secure residency permits under Greece’s Golden Visa program, according to data from the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. And in the ten years since its launch, the program has brought in more than €5 billion in investments, mainly in real estate, with some 13,000 visas issued. Starting Aug. 1, the minimum threshold for property investment in select areas of the country has doubled to €500,000, but remains unchanged in the rest of Greece.
- Market Outlook – U.S. investment banking giant Morgan Stanley sees Greece as the world’s top rated emerging market thanks to its ongoing reform program. Speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNBC, said Marshall Stocker, co-head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley, said: “Greece is our top holding because of the improvement in the economic institutions that country has undertaken under this current government.”