News in Brief – November 2021
- Greek Economy – Greece’s economy is forecast to grow 7.1% this year, according to the latest autumn forecast by the European Commission, one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and in line with other official estimates. The Commission’s upwardly revised forecast reflects a better-than-expected economic recovery, robust exports and a resilient tourism sector. Separately, the Greek government revised upward its forecast for 2021 growth to 7.0% from 6.1% previously.
- Greek Tourism − Greek tourism is poised for further growth next year with early bookings up 30% compared with pre-pandemic levels and major airlines like EasyJet announcing a 500,000 increase in available seats to Greece next summer. Tourism revenues this year are forecast to reach €12 billion, according to Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, 50% higher than initially expected.
- Tourism Awards – Greece was recognized as one of the world’s outstanding tourism destinations in a series of recent awards. At the prestigious Travvy Awards, Greece received top honors this year as: the Best Destination – Mediterranean; the Best Cruise Destination – International; and the Best Luxury Destination – International. It was also selected as the second best destination worldwide in the category Expedition/Adventure Destination – International. Separately, Greece was recognized with the Silver Award at the 25th edition of the annual American Readers’ Choice Awards. The RCA 2021, organized by Worth Publications and the bi-monthly travel magazine Recommend, was based on a poll of 135,000 readers of the magazine.
- Public Power − Greece’s state-controlled power company, Public Power Corp., has raised €1.35 billion through a share offering to help fund further investments in renewable energy projects. Anchor investors in the capital increase included international private equity fund CVC, which will hold 10% of the utility, and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development.
- Greece-Egypt – Greece and Egypt signed a bilateral agreement for the construction of an underwater power cable to connect the power grids of the two countries. The agreement complements an existing project, the €2.5 billion EuroAsia Interconnector, which will link the power grids of Israel and Cyprus with Greece through the world’s longest submarine power cable.
- Life Sciences – Leading Greek life sciences company DEMO Pharmaceuticals will invest €356 million to build a combined production and research facility for pharmaceuticals. The facility is the latest in a series of investments in Greece’s life sciences sector, one of the country’s leading export industries.
- Hellenikon Project – Greece’s Lamda Development, the company holding the rights for the redevelopment of the old Athens airport at Hellenikon, announced that construction work on the project is expected to commence in February. According to the company’s masterplan, a large part of the project will be ready by the end of 2025.
- Privatizations Update –Greece’s privatization agency, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, said it expects to receive binding bids for the ports of Alexandroupoli, Igoumenitsa and Kavala within the first quarter of 2022. The agency said it expects to launch the privatization of Heraklion, Crete’s largest port, in the second quarter of next year.