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Greek export, tourist companies oppose likely sanctions against Russia

April 02, 2014, 10:11 UTC+3 ATHENS

Greek tourism officials said that in their view an overall number of tourist trips to all Greece is forecast to fall by 10-30%

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ATHENS, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Greek export enterprises and tourist companies come out against possible economic sanctions against Russia, it was stated at a special meeting which the Greek Foreign Ministry held on Tuesday evening over aftermath for Greek economy from current Ukrainian crisis.

The meeting convened by Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Greek Foreign Ministry Panagiotis Mihalos aimed at “assessing influence of past events on Greek tourism, trade and export and considering ways to overcome this problem,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement transmitted to an ITAR-TASS office in Greece’s capital Athens.

“Officials from the ministries of tourism, agricultural development, sea fleet and transport, as well as 14 industrial organizations that strongly opposed possible new sanctions against Russia, participated in the meeting,” the ministry said, adding that “in their view, current crisis will affect Greek-Russian economic ties over a lower ruble exchange rate, restrictions on Greek export, expected reduction in export of fruit and vegetables and serious aftermath for tourism.”


Impact of sanctions on Greek economy

Trucks with Greek cargoes have to go to Russia via Belarus, thus increasing the itinerary by one and a half days (from three and a half to five days) that hampers quick movement of perishable goods and augments their cost, the ministry said. “Eleven percent of Greek transport companies work with Russia on a permanent basis and 20% of them from time to time, and this figure may have major impact on the transport industry in case of sanctions,” the Foreign Ministry said. “It is worth noting that Greece already asked for a larger number of transit permits via Belarus. Sectors that export perishable products, such as fruit and vegetables and aquaculture products will be affected from possibly worse conditions of delivery. Nowadays Greek companies breeding sea fish have more than 35% share of Russian market of dorado and sea zander while the rest of the market is mainly under control of Turkish companies,” the ministry stated. Meanwhile, Russian market is very important for Greek exporters of canned peach accounting for 15% of their foreign supplies.

Greek tourism officials said that in their view inflow of Russian tourists on Chalcidice Peninsula would go down by about 15%, meanwhile, an overall number of tourist trips to all Greece is forecast to fall by 10-30%. “It was reported that the number of Russian tourists visiting Greece in 2013 exceeded 1.4 million people against one million people in 2012, posting a 46% growth,” the statement reads. “Each Russian tourist spends € 1,080 on average, whereas € 670 is spent on consumption of one tourist in Greece on average,” it runs.

Naftemporiki newspaper cited All-Greece Exporters Union’s statistical reports made public at a meeting in the country’s Foreign Ministry that “a trade war” between the European Union and Russia would inflict € 7.5 billion of direct and indirect damage to Greek economy that makes four percent of the country’s GDP.

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