Sunday, November 19, 2017
Struggling Greek businesses cling to recovery hopes
November 19, 2017
Greek carpenter Vassilis Tsigas surveys the cavernous shop floor of his family’s woodworking business where a handful of employees are finishing balcony doors for a boutique hotel on an Aegean island.
His company, which produces high-quality wood fittings for homes and hotels, was once a flourishing business, but annual turnover has dropped from €9m during the building boom a decade ago to just €1.5m last year.
“We just about managed to hold on . . . We got export orders from a few Greek architects working abroad because we could offer cheaper prices,” Mr Tsigas says.
But for the first time since the crisis began almost a decade ago, things have begun to get better. In July, the Tsigas brothers landed a contract to provide fittings for a luxury hotel in Athens being renovated by foreign investors. It will provide enough work for the company to re-hire a dozen employees laid off during the crisis.