Sunday, November 19, 2017

Struggling Greek businesses cling to recovery hopes

by Kerin Hope

Financial Times

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.


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