News in Brief
Greece reopened its tourism sector to international visitors on May 15 and has lifted most health restrictions following a six month-long lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The move comes as the country’s vaccination campaign accelerates, with more than 100,000 vaccinations being administered on a daily basis and more than five million in total so far.
The Greek government announced a further reduction in Greece’s corporate tax rate to 22% from 24% previously. As part of its efforts to help restart the economy, the government also announced a permanent reduction in advance tax payments for businesses to 80% from 100%, as well as other tax and pension relief measures for businesses and workers.
Greece issued a new, €3 billion, zero-coupon, 5-year bond, priced at a record low yield of 0.17%. The bond was heavily oversubscribed with demand exceeding €20 billion. Strong demand for shorter dated Greek paper also drove the yield on Greek 3-month T-bills to -0.40%.
Greece’s ambitious Green Deal could add €2.6 billion in GDP and create 35,000 jobs over the next decade, according to a study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research that was commissioned by think tank diaNEOsis. Under the country’s national energy and climate plan, Greece foresees €43.8 billion being invested in clean energy projects over the next 10 years.
French fashion house Dior has chosen Greece for the presentation of one of its 2022 travel-themed collections, reflecting the country’s renewed status as one of the world’s top tourism destinations. The show will take place on June 17th in Athens.
Greece’s Culture Ministry has opened 91 underwater sites to divers, part of the country’s efforts to offer new tourism experiences to visitors. Greece last year inaugurated its first underwater museum by permitting recreational divers access to the fourth century B.C. Peristera shipwreck near the island of Alonissos in the north Aegean.
Prices for residential properties rose 3.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest data by the Bank of Greece. In 2020, prices for residential properties rose 4.3% on average, down from a 7.2% rate in 2019.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a new division for international commercial affairs as part of an internal reorganization aimed at improving operations and strengthening Greece’s economic diplomacy. The new General Secretariat combines Enterprise Greece, the Export Credit Insurance Organization, and Greece’s network of overseas economic and commercials affairs offices.