News in Brief – September 2022
- Greek Economy – Greece’s economy grew at a much stronger-than-expected 7.7% year-on-year rate in the second quarter − well above consensus expectations of 5% to 6% − marking one of the fastest growth rates in the Eurozone. According to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority, first quarter growth was also revised higher, to 8% from 7% previously. The Greek government has revised upward its full year estimates and now sees Greek GDP growing 5.3% in 2022 versus a previous estimate of 3.1%.
- Greek Tourism – Greece welcomed more than 15 million visitors in the seven months to July, according to data by the Greek Tourism Confederation, approaching the record levels of 2019 prior to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the data, international air arrivals mostly reached pre-pandemic levels by July, but road arrivals were below those of two years ago.
- Debt Repayment − Greece plans to repay ahead of schedule €2.7 billion of loans owed to Eurozone countries under the first bailout it received during its decade-long debt crisis, according to a report by Reuters citing finance ministry officials. The repayment relates to outstanding loans maturing in 2023. Earlier this year, Greece repaid the last of its outstanding debts to the IMF two years ahead of schedule.
- Natural Gas – Greece and Italy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the storage of natural gas in Italy covering 1.5 TWh of natural gas that can be transported to Greece via reverse flows. The announcement comes just weeks after Greece added a new, floating liquefied natural gas storage facility at its Revithoussa natural gas terminal.
- Telecom Investment – Netherlands-based telecoms and media company United Group will invest €2.0 billion in Greece over the next five years to upgrade its telecoms infrastructure. The company, which operates mainly in Southeast Europe, plans to install a 10-gigabit fiber optics network to service 4.5 million customers, according to a statement by the Office of the Prime Minister.
- Strategic Investments – Greece’s Inter-ministerial Committee on Strategic Investments has approved two new projects, in energy and in tourism, for special fast-track status. The projects relate to a flagship €226.4 million solar-hydrogen facility – the first of its kind in Greece – and a €61 million investment in a five-star hotel on the island of Myconos.
- Greece-Qatar − Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis undertook his first official visit to Qatar, underscoring the growing strategic relations Greece has been developing with countries of the Gulf and Middle East. During the visit, Greece and Qatar expressed their common will to deepen cooperation in the field of energy, as well as in tourism, infrastructure development, agriculture, culture, sports and science. In recent months, Greece has had a series of high level exchanges with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, while the UAE was the honored country at this year’s Thessaloniki International Fair.