| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : EU Economy Last Updated: Nov 28, 2013 - 7:17 AM

OECD identifies 555 regulatory restrictions that hinder Greek economy
By Finfacts Team
Nov 28, 2013 - 7:13 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, praised the reforms being implemented in Greece, when she met Antonis Samaras, Greek prime minister, in Berlin, Nov 22, 2013.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Wednesday that an 11-month investigation by the think-tank for 34 mainly developed countries in cooperation with the Greek authorities has identified a wide range of regulations and legal provisions that undermine competition. In its report into Greece’s food processing, retail trade, building materials and tourism sectors, the OECD identified 555 regulatory restrictions which it says, if lifted, would have major benefits for the Greek economy, not least through lower prices. The OECD said separately that serious consideration may have to be given to cutting the country's debt burden again.

The Competition Assessment Review of Greece makes more than 320 recommendations on legal provisions that should be amended or repealed. The report says the Greek authorities have taken important steps in recent years to reinforce competition law, strengthen the Hellenic Competition Commission and liberalise professional services.

A competition assessment “toolkit”, developed by the OECD, was used to structure the analysis. It provides a checklist that guides the assessment of laws and regulations to identify crucial restrictions to competition.

The report argues implementation of the report’s recommendations would lead to substantial benefits for Greek consumers, and help remove barriers to growth. It estimates the benefit to the Greek economy would be around €5.2bn - - the equivalent of 2.5% of GDP - due to increased purchasing power for consumers and efficiency gains for companies.

Implementing the recommendations would have an even wider impact over time, the report says. OECD studies demonstrate that the removal of barriers to competition in a number of markets across the wider economy will lead to increased productivity and hence stronger economic growth and job creation.

The main findings include:

  • Barriers to entry (such as the definition of “fresh” milk which sets the maximum shelf-life at five days, exclusive distribution of over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) by pharmacies, minimum requirements for touristic infrastructures and activities);
  • Price distortions (such as regulated prices of OTCs, requirements to submit prices to trade associations and various forms of price notification and approvals);
  • Rules that constrain the operation of businesses and their commercial practices (such as the regulation of promotions and sales, restrictions on the establishment and ownership of pharmacies);
  • Third-party levies (such as the levy on cement, on the wholesale price of medicines and on flour);
  • Obsolete legislation (such as various provisions in the Code of Foodstuffs and Beverages, including restrictions on bottling apple vinegar or importing certain types of peppers).

The OECD also said on Wednesday that Greece has made impressive headway in consolidating its public finances and undertaking key structural reforms to boost productivity and enhance competitiveness.

In its latest Economic Survey of Greece, the OECD says the crisis has been much deeper than expected, leading to a sharp contraction in activity that has pushed unemployment up to almost 28% of the labour force, created hardship for vulnerable social groups, and is posing risks to the sustainability of the country’s government debt.

Presenting the survey in Athens, Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general, said: “For the reform efforts to succeed and be accepted by citizens, it is imperative that both the costs and the benefits of adjustment are shared fairly.”

He acknowledged that the country’s government debt trajectory has worsened as a result of slower-than-expected growth, despite the 2012 restructuring. 

“If Greek growth again disappoints, or deflation persists - -  even after the implementation of structural reforms -- then it will be extremely difficult to reach the debt-to-GDP target of 120% by 2020. In this case, serious consideration should be given to reducing the current debt burden,” he said.

The survey says accelerating and broadening the structural reform programme is essential for a sustainable recovery. It says privatisations should be speeded up, particularly in the energy sector and in railways, regional airports, ports and real estate.

The report recommends better targeting of benefits, including a minimum income scheme, to strengthen the safety net. Health care cuts must focus on further reducing inefficiencies while safeguarding cost-effective and critical services.

Check out our subscription service, Finfacts Premium , at a low annual charge of €25

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

EU Economy
Latest Headlines
Spain's strong recovery to slow in the next few years
Italy's Mezzogiorno is Achilles' heel of Euro Area - lowest birth rate since 1862
Euro Area GDP grows at weak 0.3% in Q2 2015
German GDP up 0.4% in Q2 2015; France's GDP stagnates
Germany's Surplus: Lots of critics; Credible solutions scarce
Euro Area industrial production dips in June and May after a flat April
Greece faces two years of recession according to EU officials
High EU youth unemployment rate not as bad as it seems
Eurozone retail PMI surges to highest since January 2011
ECB monetary policy still tight for Southern Europe
German exports fell in June — surplus at record; Exports up 13.7% year-on-year
Eurozone manufacturing sector continued to expand in July
Weak euro unlikely to have significant impact on Euro Area growth
Is Euro Area Ireland's top trading partner?: EU28 is overwhelmingly UK's
German car firms boost exports from Spain, UK, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania
Flash Eurozone manufacturing/ services PMI close to four-year high despite Greek crisis
Krugman calls euro a Roach Motel; Hotel California gets 1-star grade
Greece & Euro Crisis: July 2015 articles from Finfacts
Greece and other poor countries in Euro Area will not become rich
Euro Area manufacturing/ services PMI hits four-year high in June
Western European car market: Recovery continues
Greece could become a failed state like Venezuela
Multinational companies pay on average 30% less tax than domestic competitors in EU
EU's list of 30 tax havens omits the biggest 4 in Europe
China to invest in Juncker's European investment fund
Greek talks collapse; Game theorists gambling with future — Germany's vice-chancellor
German exports and industrial production in strong rises in April
Tackling Inequality: Scandinavian countries have the most successful welfare systems in Europe
Eurozone unemployment fell by 130,000 in April 2015 — down 849,000 in 12 months
Eurozone service sector business activity slowed during May
German 2015 GDP forecast cut; Jobless level at 24-year low
Eurozone manufacturing in modest acceleration in May
FDI into Europe at record in 2014; UK on top: Germany location for future investment
Eurozone economy loses growth momentum; Jobs growth rises
Athens leak suggests Juncker has plan for Greece
Draghi will not end QE early but warns of risks
Eurozone grows faster than US and UK in Q1 2015
German GDP at slower pace, France faster in Q1 2015
Germany may cut income tax; Germans still shun risky investments
Germany had record exports and imports in March 2015