Greek PM Mitsotakis believes that “Brand Greece” must be refreshed once again this year, after the worst of the pandemic is over, letting the world know once again that it is ready to “hit play again” as the nation not only ramps up for another tourist season but creates an economic climate for new development and investment as well.
He believes that the tourism sector is not the only one which will benefit from refocusing on all Greece has to offer — now that there is a new economic outlook, he hopes to attract even more business development than he has in the recent past and to entice more Greeks abroad to come back to the land of their birth to work and live.
After years in what the magazine Monocle called “years in the geopolitical wilderness” Prime Minister Mitsotakis is “hitting play on his nation’s sunny ambitions” in a bid to remind the world what “Brand Greece’” means — and to expand that meaning.
The story recounted that after winning election in July of 2019, Mitsotakis immediately began to create a more business-friendly environment in the country, after years of austerity and economic difficulty. However, just as the economic reality was markedly improving in the country, the pandemic broke out and the Greek leader was faced with helping his nation navigate the uncharted waters of a global health crisis.
The nation is strongly encouraging “Digital Nomads,” those who can work anywhere in the world via computer, to settle in Greece and has also instituted a 7% income tax rate for retirees — from anywhere in the world — to come and live in the country.
“Mitsotakis has hit play on a new image and role for Greece that is seeing the return of a highly talented diaspora, a rapid rise in foreign direct investment, and tax incentives given to encourage an increasingly vibrant start-up scene” the writers note.
This shows the Prime Minister’s “renewed determination for Greece to play a pivotal diplomatic, military and economic role in the Eastern Mediterranean, where relations with Turkey are tense because of clashing claims over maritime borders and ‘exclusive economic zones.”
The Monocle story quotes Mitsotakis as saying: “For a country that came out of ten years of economic hardship with a healthcare system that had come under a lot of strain, we’ve done remarkably well. I’m a big believer in trust. And trust between people and the political elite had been shattered during the (financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath).
“We’re rebuilding this trust, step by step,” he explains. “There’s a general feeling that Greece has turned the corner, a new sense of national confidence – that’s very much exhibited in our diaspora.
“Country moving in the right direction”
“These are highly talented people who left the country during the crisis. The reason they’re returning – or contemplating returning – isn’t just to do with the fact that they’re offered more professional opportunities; it also has to do with a general sense that the country is moving in the right direction.”
The move adroitly taps into the current professional realities of many across the world due to Covid-19. Those who once worked in cubicles or desks in sprawling offices have now been working from home for the better part of the last year.
For some, this shift to remote work has proven to be welcome, improving their professional and personal lives. Others are starving for exploration and adventure because of Covid-19 restrictions, and see the change as the perfect opportunity to work and travel once it’s safe.
Large corporations around the world have found worker productivity and satisfaction to be increased now that many have the freedom to work wherever their employees want, and following their own schedules.
Tech giants moving into Greece
Some companies, like Google, have even suggested that they would continue this work-from-home model for the majority of their staff even after the pandemic is long over.
The country has started by reducing taxes by 50% for those who decide to make Greece their home base. Additionally, Greece has promised significant tax benefits to court Greeks living abroad, lost to the brain drain during the financial crisis, to return to the country.
This model has proven to be quite effective, bringing in a number of highly-qualified, creative workers already working remotely to Greece, drawn to the country’s vibrant culture and stunning natural landscapes.