Even before any ink has been put to paper on a solution for the Greek debt crisis the Greek Retailers Association has said the government’s budget proposals will hurt small to medium sized business and hamstring recovery.
Greece plans to raise corporate tax by 3 percentage points to 29 percent to secure revenues of 410 million euros in 2016.
Eddie Kalfayan owns a jewellery store in Athens:“All these taxes, raising our tax to 29 percent, increasing VAT, the measures all target business owners and are burdening them at a time when we are in a very bad state. We are all in the red.”
Greece’s economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter and Athens has a €1.6bn IMF bill looming and needs access to frozen funds to keep the wolf from eating the furniture.
Despite the continued hardship most Greeks are aware that sacrifices have to be made if the country wants to remain in the euro.
Maria owns a clothes shop in the capital:
“We must choose the lesser of two evils. What else can we do? We are going through a difficult time, but we all need to show patience, don’t start throwing stones at Greece. We have to stop abusing ourselves. We must show patience.”
After five years of recession Greeks are well practiced at prioritising on what to spend their money a situation that has forced hundreds of thousands of Greek businesses into bankruptcy.