Professionals from businesses in Greece which work with foreign yacht-leasing companies, as well as owners of ultraluxury yachts, claim that Greek bureaucratic madness is forcing them to avoid the Greek seas every year.
According to a report in Greece’s Kathimerini daily on Monday, Greece comes in at an amazing fifth place in the Mediterranean regarding visitation preference among owners of luxurious mega-yachts.
The country lags behind Italy, France, Spain and even tiny Monaco not because the owners of luxurious yachts do not desire to visit Greece, but because Greece’s bureaucracy is simply too time-consuming. It makes owners think twice — or give up altogether — before they visit the country.
The report says that companies which want to lease luxurious yachts in Greece must first found a branch in the country, appoint an attorney, submit to investigation by special Greek authorities dealing with vessels, and register in a digital registry.
These procedures take up to sixty or even seventy days to be finalized in Greece, while neighboring countries such as Italy and France facilitate similar processes in approximately three days. The sole requirement for such companies in these countries is that they appoint a local tax representative.
This incredible situation, along with a number of other complex and outdated legalisms, poses serious threats to Greece’s tourism revenues, as cruise ships and yachts might simply prefer to avoid the bureaucratic nightmare and enjoy the Mediterranean shores of other countries in the region.
However, despite these maddening circumstances, Greece still somehow remains very high on the list regarding visitations and registration of luxurious and mega-yachts.
For example, Greece comes in third in the world, after Russia and the United States, in absolute numbers of registered mega-yachts exceeding forty meters in length.
It is obvious that Greece’s great natural beauty is aiding the country in many ways, making it easier for Greece to leave the dark years of the financial crash behind.
What is urgently needed now, however, is the political will which will help the country accelerate its growth rate by abolishing long-standing administrative weaknesses which keep parts of the economy well behind where they should be.