News in Brief – January 2022
- Greek Economy – The Bank of Greece predicts that the Greek economy grew more than 8% last year, according to its interim monetary policy report, and will expand at a 5% rate in 2022. The Greek government budget, which was approved by Parliament in late December, foresees growth of 4.5% in 2022.
- Greek Exports – Exports of goods and services in November jumped 47.2%, compared with a year earlier, to €3.9 billion, boosted in part by a recovery in prices for oil and petroleum products. Excluding oil products, Greek exports rose 31.5% year on year, according to the latest data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority. For the 11 months to November, Greek exports were up 30.8% year-on-year to €36.3 billion.
- Credit Outlook – International credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings raised its outlook for Greece to positive from stable on the country’s stronger-than-expected growth dynamics and its declining fiscal deficit. The agency forecasts that the Greek economy will grow at 4.1% this year following an estimated 8.3% growth rate in 2021. The agency also affirmed its “BB” credit rating for Greece.
- Greece 2.0 Fund – A further 55 investment projects ranging from green energy to digital transformation and with a combined budget of €3.35 billion have been approved for funding under Greece’s National Recovery & Resilience Fund. In total, the RFF – dubbed Greece 2.0 – has approved 103 projects so far with a combined budget of more than €6 billion that will help the country develop a green, digital and socially inclusive growth model.
- Strategic Investments – The Inter-ministerial Committee on Strategic Investments has approved four new projects with a combined budget of €436 million. The four projects include the development of the new Pfizer global business services hub in Thessaloniki, a waste management facility, a solar energy facility, and a hotel and marina complex.
- Athens Hilton – Athens’ iconic Hilton hotel will be redeveloped into a mixed hotel, residential and leisure complex. According to an announcement by Hilton and Ionian Hotel Enterprises, owner of the property, more than €130 million will be invested in the project to create a new city destination for the Greek capital. The rebranded hotel is expected to open under the Conrad brand name in 2024.
- Film Incentives – Greece has launched a new, €62.5 million loan guarantee fund for audio-visual productions, part of the country’s ongoing drive to promote and attract film and television projects. The fund, in cooperation with Piraeus Bank and Optima Bank, will guarantee up to 80% of loans ranging between €25,000 and €900,000 for the financing of audio-visual projects.
- Mediterranean Diet – For the fifth year running, American magazine U.S. News & World Report has selected the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet in the world. Various research studies over the years have found that the Mediterranean diet – which is associated with Greek cuisine – is linked with longevity and reduction in heart disease, and can also reduce the risk of diabetes and dementia, among other health benefits.