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EU Sanctions Against Russia to Affect Greek Economy

ukraine_protests_hThe possibility of the EU further expanding the sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis has caused serious concern amongst various producers and exporters in Greece as daily To Vima online reports today. A meeting at the Foreign Affairs Minister was held yesterday, with representatives from the Ministries of Tourism, Agricultural Development, Shipping and Transport, discussing the latest developments with 14 business and production representatives, who expressed their objections to the possibility of further sanctions against Russia. The bilateral trade relations with Russia are affected by the crisis; with the ruble under pressure and exports being reduced, there is a concern that there will be a negative impact on tourism. The situation in transports is indicative; due to the crisis, transports have to go through Belarus to reach Russia, which extends travel time from three and a half to five days.

This in turn, makes the transport of perishable goods more difficult and costly. Since about 11% of Greek transporters work on a permanent basis in Russia, while a further 20% on an occasional basis, the sector could be affected if further sanctions are imposed. In the meantime, Greece has requested an increase of permits for transit via Belarus. Many sectors dealing in perishable goods, such as agricultural or fish farming products, will be greatly affected by dramatic changes to transports. Greek fish farming companies have a 35% share in the Russian market for sea bream and bass, with the rest of the market dominated by Turkish companies. About 15% of the Greek production of tinned peaches is exported to Russia as well.

Tourist representatives predicted that tourist arrivals in Halkidiki for this year will drop by about 15%, with tourism expected to drop between 10% and 30% overall in Greece. In 2013 arrivals from Russia increased from 1 million in 2012 to 1.4 million tourists, marking a 45.87% increase. Tourists spent about 1.342 billion euros in Greece last year, with each Russian spending about 1.079 euros, while the average tourist spent about 670 euros.
(source: ANSA)

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