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Running head: GREECE: DOING BUSINESS IN THE GREEK NATION

Greece: An Analysis of Doing Business in the Greek Nation


Dalton W. Farmer
MG 352- International Business
Laura Kerner
October 27, 2015

GREECE: DOING BUSINESS IN THE GREEK NATION

Greece: An Analysis of Doing Business in the Greek Nation


If an organization wants to invest, or intend on starting a business in another country, they
would have to make sure that they research everything they can about that country. This is so
they can determine whether they can truly be successful or not, or form strategies that could
make their success happen in the country. In this report, we will research the characteristics of
the Greek nation, analyze current factors and economic situations, and determine whether or not
we should invest in the country.
To do this, we will first research what we know about Greece. This includes researching
the history, economy, culture, and government systems among other things. Once the knowledge
is acquired, it is important to analyze the factors and then determine what impact they will have
on investing in this country. Finally, it will be determined whether or not we should invest, and if
not, why not.
Researching Greece
There are many different factors that determine whether or not someone should invest
into a country. This is why research is critical. For this reason, there is an entire section of this
report, actually the majority of the report, is dedicated to revealing some critical facts and figures
that impact our decision on whether or not an investment should be made.
Basics and History of Greece
Greece is a European country located at the southern end of the European nations. Greece
shares a border with Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The country is located relatively
close to Italy, but it does not border the country( refer to Figure 1 in the appendix for a map of

GREECE: DOING BUSINESS IN THE GREEK NATION

the nation as well as a visual of the neighboring nations). Athens is the capital of Greece today
and has been since 1834.
Greece is actually known quite well for their history. One of the oldest known
establishments, Greeces history provides its citizens with many reasons for them to have great
pride in their country. Establishment of the land of Greece occurred between 1900 and 1600 B.C.
However, the Greek nation has come a long way since that time. However, it is easy to tell that
the history is still acknowledged today.
When it comes to fame of the citizens, the majority of the celebrities are known the
greatest within the country. Of course, this is always expected considering that celebrities are
typically know best in their home countries. However, there are still some celebrities native of
Greece that many Americans may know, and even some that helped shape some aspects of
Americas culture. One Greek- American that helped shape the music industry is Thomas Lee
Bass, better known as Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee a musician that was actually the founding
member of Mtley Cre ( known for Smokin in the Boys Room and Girls, Girls, Girls).
Another celebrity that made an impact in America is Arianna Huffington. Arianna Huffington is a
Greek- American writer that co-founded and is editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post. One last
Greek-American Celebrity is the actor John Aniston. John is known for his role in Days of our
Lives. He is also the father of a much known actress named Jennifer Aniston.
Greece has deep roots into their homeland. Like stated earlier, their history goes far back
until around 1600 B.C. However, when a lot of people think about Greeces history, they most
often refer to Ancient or Archaic Greece, which was between the times of 800- 500 B.C. This age
was actually know as the Greek Dark Ages, and during this time, everyone was scattered
around Greece living in small shacks among farms (History.com, 2015).

GREECE: DOING BUSINESS IN THE GREEK NATION

Of course, Greece was primarily known for their military. However, after the seventh
century B.C, Greece was noted to have developed the political system called demokratia rule by
the people, (History.com, 2015). Unfortunately, Greece turned away from the democracy style
of government, and nevebr returned until 1974 when democracy was restored.
Economics
Greece is considered a developed country. However, it still seems as if Greece is on the
verge of fully becoming a developed nation. In fact, Rinegar (2015) feels that Greece is actually
a nation that is trapped in the take off stage of development (p. 1). The Greek economy was
actually doing quite well between 1949 and 1980. However, the country did seem to recess
shortly after that time period.
In the year 2000, Greece was finally accepted into the Eurozone (Rinegar, 2015, p. 1).
However, by 2012, the Per capita income was only $25,100 (Export.gov, 2014). Even the
unemployment rate was depressing with a rate of around twenty four percent unemployed. Just
for comparison, the American unemployment rate is %5.3 (peeked in 2009 at 10 percent). Greece
has more than five times more unemployed citizens than America, and more than double
unemployed citizens than America had during the Recession of 2007-2009.
In 2012. The population of Greece was around ten million and seven hundred citizens.
Now the number is closer to eleven million. Fourteen percent of the population ranges from ages
zero to fourteen years old. Sixty six percent of the population is between fifteen and sixty four
percent years old, and the ages sixty five and over make up around nineteen percent of the
population.

GREECE: DOING BUSINESS IN THE GREEK NATION

Greece is primarily a tourist nation. Therefore, their economy thrives primarily off of
their service sector. Greeces service sector makes up around eighty five percent of their
economy. The second highest sector is actually the industry sector, which makes up only thirteen
percent of the economy (businessculture.org, 2014). Greeces GDP is relatively low with only
$255 billion dollars in the year of 2012 (closer to $237 billion in 2014). However, considering
that the service sector makes up the majority of the economy, the imports and exports are going
to be relatively low. This will, in result, obviously lower the GDP.
Greeces infrastructure aids well in leaving investment activities uninterrupted
enterprisegreece.gov, 2015). In the last decade, Greece has seen a lot of road improvements, one
of which is a major highway called the Egnatia Highway. As for energy, Greece is making
increased efforts to aid the environment. In fact, Greece aims to make twenty nine percent of
their energy to be derived from renewable sources of energy.
Cultural aspects in Business and day-to-day life
In business, and in everyday life, the cultural taboos of Greece are something they
take pride in. In fact, they are proud enough of their history that they accept and enjoy any
discussions about their culture and history. In reality, it seems as if their interactions are quite
similar to American interactions. Just like America, they tend to poke fun of their own citizens,
but, it would be very unwise for an outsider to make some of the same jokes about their people.
In America, there is a very popular saying, ten minutes early: you are on time. On time:
you are late. It is quite unsure exactly who composed that saying, but I have heard it plenty of
times in my work experience. In contrary, Greece finds it acceptable to be around ten minutes

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late. However, if you are expected to be fifteen minutes late or more, it is expected to give a
notification ahead of time before arriving late.
Greeces treatment of women is actually a very interesting topic. Of course, women are
not entirely treated as unequal, especially in the home life. However, it seems as if they have
trouble being successful in the corporate world. In fact, Mihail (2006), concludes that women
who aspire to become a manager in the corporate world of Greece are very likely to experience a
glass ceiling (p. 385). Mihail also proceeds to state that males tend to hold a comparatively
negative attitude toward women. This information very well presents an issue with respect for
women, and reveals how the men in the country view the capabilities of their women.
Religion in Greece
As noted earlier, Religion in Greece is a very sensitive subject. Its so sensitive, that it is
regarded as a topic to stay clear from when conducting professional, or even leisure, meetings.
Greeces primary religion is a very popular version of Christianity in the West. This version of
Chrisitainity is refered to as the Orthodox Church. Kyriazopoulos (2001) actually reveals that
Greece might have a problem with their religious freedom commitment. According to
Kyriazopoulos, the majority of Greece aggrees that the prevailing religion of the country is the
orthodox church. This can very well bring an issue if the country tries to be diverse in their
religious groups.
The remaining fifteen percent of the population is divided amongst Catholics, Jews and
Muslims. This is how very man Greek natives can have the perceived notion that the Orthodox
Church religion is the most prevailing one. Of course. The facts provide an accurate source for

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that notion. However, with the refugee and immigration issues that Greece is experiencing from
bordering counrties, it is very possible that the muslim religion is growing in the country.
As for the impact of religion in Greek business, it seems as if it impacts their corporate
environment the same way religion is impacting the businesses in America. As noted earlier, it
would be very unwise to discuss religion while in the Greek nations. Therefore it would be
simple to assume that they attempt to stay clear of these topics in business and professional
meetings. However, there is a possible similarity in the perception of women derived from the
religion as Christianity in America. Some christian traditionalists in America believe that women
should be inferior to man. This link can be present in Greece when reference to the treatment of
women earlier in this paper.
Education
Being used to the American way of education, it could be very easy to get lost in
understanding how the education system works in Greece upon first glance. However, studying
the system for just a few minutes can reveal how the system is similar to the American way of
education. Like America, the Greek education system is under state supervision. The system is
devided into three sections: cycle one ( pre-school and primary school), cycle two (secondary
education), and tertiary education (universities and polytechnics) (Businessculture.org, 2014)
When discussing education in Greece, it is crucial to consider economic variables. As
stated earlier, the country seems to have an abnormally large unemployment rate. Experiencing
an economic recession with a great increase in the unemployment rate can very well change
soemones perception of higher education. Livanos (2010) wrote a case study about the
relationship with education in Greece and the labor market (p. 473- 4890. In his case study, he

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states that in most cases, the unemployment rate decreases as the level of degree increases.
However, in Greece, the unemployment rate remains constant at every degree level. This can
very possibly decrease the likelyhood that a Greek student would purse a degree in higher
education.
Political and legal system
As noted earlier, Greece follows a democracy style of government. The ruler of the
country is labled as the prime minister, and he, or she, is elected by a popular vote. The currnet
prime minister is Alexsis Tsipras and he was recently re-elected in September. One important
factor about the prime minister is the fact that their term does not have an official end date. The
president, on the other hand, has a term limit of five years. The president is also limited to only
two terms per president.
As for the political parties of Greece, there are two parties that dominate the popularity of
the votes. The Syriza party and the New Democracy party are the two primary political parties in
Greece. In the January election, Syriza claimed thirty six percent of the votes, the new
democracy claimed twenty six percent of the votes, and the remaining thirty six percent of votes
belong to the remaining parties (The Economist, 2015). For a visual description of the poll
results, refer to figure 2 in the appendix.
The legal system of Greece follows the tradition of civil law, and follows a constitutional
tradition that begun in 1975 when the dictatorship fell and the re-birth of the democratic
government began (Tassopoulos, 2008, p. 127). Greece focuses their attention on fairness and
equality. An intersting and possivly important factor is that Greece outlawed the death penalty in
their country. The Golden Dawn political party seeks to re-establish capital punishment.

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Greeces Monetary system


Greeces monetary system, prior to their inclusion into the eurozone, was expressed in
Drachmas. The Drachma currency dates far back until the ruling of Alexander the Great
(Droysen, 2012, p. 3- 94). The Drachma was always under fire for high inflation. This may be
why the leaders of the monetary system continously made efforts to deflate the currency.
All of that changed when Greece entered the Eurozone. Since the change, Greece has
made the Euro their main form of currency, and no monetary form is allowed in their country.
Therefore, if you wish to travel to this country in the future, you might want to exchange your
currency before hand. The exchange rate for the U.S dollar and the Euro is .94 for every U.S
dollar. Greece had a very classic and historical currency sytem prior to being included into the
Eurozone. However, their new currency system is accepted on a much larger basis, and now has
a much more stable inflation rate.
Current Events in Greece
The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and many other business journals have had a
field day reporting on Greece in these last few years. Greece has faced plenty of economic
hardships. These hardships include an economic collapse, an acceptance of a rather difficult
bailout plan, a refugee crisis, and a snap election.
Around 2010 Greece started experiencing an economic downturn. Business and
economic leaders started to see the GDP decrease, and the debt increase at a great rate. This is
what lead to the spike in the unemployment rate that was discussed earlier. Greece sought
assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which agreed to a 30 billion loan deal (Paris,
Dedes, & Lampridis, 2011, p. 330). Unfortuneately, this assistance did not solve Greeces issues.

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Greece accepted a bailout deal in August that was worth around eighty six billion euros.
This dicision was a very unpopular one among the greek citizens condiering the poll results that
reflect that the citizens wished to not accept this bailout deal anyway. However, Tsipras believed
that this bailout deal is what Greece neede to prosper. He also wantted to make sure that he made
every effort to have Greece remain in the Eurozone, he felt that accepting this bailout deal aid in
this notion.
An economic crisis is not the only crisis that Greece is experiencing. Greece has
experienced an immigration of over half-of-a-million immigrants/refugees from neighboring war
zone countries. The majority of the refugees are arriving on the Greek islands, like the Levos
Islands, and are coming primarily from Turkey. This crisis has lead to a mass increase in the
Greek population. Greece is not the only country to have felt this event. Many other neighboring
countries like Paris and Germany are experienceing the same issue. Even America is starting to
feel the pressure of the crisis with their political debates on whether to accept the refugees or not.
Earlier, I mentioned the results of the January Greek election. Just around seven months
later, Tsipras called a snap election for the prime minister position. The snap election was called
due to the event of the bailout agreement. Even though Alexsis Tsipras made an agreement that
was oppesed by the citizens, he still was able to win the election. In fact, the election went
almost identical as the election in January.
Analysis of factors
Now that we have mentioned basic facts that helps investors understand more about the
nation that they might be investing in, it is important to put a lot of the factors into place and
determine what impact it may have on investing. Since the idea is to consider investing at present

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time, it would be obvious to use current events and factors to analyze about the country. The
economic collapse, the migrant crisis, and the technological status of the nation are going to be
the ideal factors to consider in this case.
The economic crisis
Anyone who makes plenty of investments will cringe any time the words economic
collapse are mentioned, and there is an obvious logical reason for this. During and economical
crisis, it is very easy to notice that profits will have a very dim outlook, and in Greeces case, that
outlook has been present since 2010.
Of course, an increased unemployment rate increases the supply of quality labor.
However, the same unemployment rate would mean that consumer spending would be kept to a
minimum. Anyone who owns a business will know that a decrease in consumer spending will
never benefit any industry. This can make it especcialy hard for anyone who hopes to open a
retail shop with hope that they mae make an annual profit.
Unfortunately, decreased spending will not be the only downside to the economic crisis.
As stated earlier, Greece accepted a large bailout deal with harsh conditions. These harsh
condiditions have resulted in the Greek government raising their taxes so that they could afford
to maintain control of the bailout deal. Not only would the tax hike increase costs and decrease
consumer spending, but it will also lead to a massive general strike by the citiizens (who mostly
work in the public sector). General strikes can shut down an entire city for one day, and if you
wish to make a profit that day, then your hopes will be crushed. This strike did, in fact, occur on
November, 12th 2015. It closed the ports, and airports as well as shutdown museums and schools
among other things.

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The Migrant Crisis


The migrant Crisis has effected Greece on a very large scale. Earlier, I stated that
Greeces primary industry is the service industry, and that it makes up around eighty five percent
of Greeces economy. The islands of Greece are going to be impacted the most, and these islands
have a large market in the service industry. Therefore, it is feared that tourism will decrease due
to the mass movement of immigrants to those islands (Makortoff, 2015).
Decreased tourism does not just impact firms dedicated to the specific industry. The issue
effects many other industries as well. Many attractions and shops thrive off of tourists from other
countries. These businesses may sink without the presence of tourists in their area. And with such
a high emphasis on the service industry in Greece, a pitfall in this industry may send a negative
shockwave to every other industry in Greece as well.
Technology in the Greek nation
I did not include technology in the Researching Greece section of this paper. This was
mainly because most developed countries tend to have similar structure in technology. Therefore,
most of the technology subject would have been analyzing Greeces technology and how it
impacts the economy or investing.
Technology is a factor that is being analyzed that is actually considered a positive factor
in investing. In fact, Panagopoulos (2014) stated that America is turning to Greece for strength in
the innovation aspect of growth. These innovations are present in the form of health care
technology, and energy technology. One important project that has helped Greece innovate their
gas industry is the Trans Adriatic pipeline. This pipeline can make the transportation of gas
across multiple countries (Panagopoulos, 2014).

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Conclusion and opinion


Making a decision on whether or not to invest in another country can a very difficult one.
Especially in the country is have major economic and political issues. Greece is a very unique
country with a rich history that no other company can match. Their culture is pleasant and a
critical factor in their success as a country. Greece is not only a very pleasant country to be
involved with due to its culture and its sophisticated locals, but it is also a very beautiful country
with its landscapes and coastal masterpieces only created by nature.
This nation could very well be an amazing country to abide in and call home. However,
with its current economic issues, as well as its other international issues, I would not be able to
currently invest in the country. The only way I would advise investing in this country is make an
investment in the healthcare, or gas industry. Other than those two industries, it may be wise to
wait and see how the economy plays out before making an investment.

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References
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http://businessculture.org/southern-europe/business-culture-in-greece/
Droysen, J. G. (2012). HISTORY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Transactions of the
American Philosophical Society, 102(3),
III,IV,V,XI,XII,XIII,XIV,XV,XVI,XVII,XVIII,XIX,XX,XXI,3-69,71-94. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com.athens.iii.com/docview/1269727061?accountid=8411
The Economist. (2015). Syriza Wins Again. Retrieved from
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/09/daily-chart-greece-s-election?
zid=307&ah=5e80419d1bc9821ebe173f4f0f060a07
Export.gov. (2014). Doing business in greece. Retrieved from
http://export.gov/greece/doingbusinessingreece/profileofgreece/index.asp
Google Maps. (2015). [Greece] [Country Map]. Retrieved from
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3313119,23.0267014,6.26z
History.com. (2015). Ancient Greece. Retrieved from
http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/ancient-greece
Kyriazis, N., & Paparrigopoulos, X. (2014). War and democracy in ancient greece. European
Journal of Law and Economics, 38(1), 163-183. doi:http://0dx.doi.org.athens.iii.com/10.1007/s10657-012-9352-1

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Kyriazopoulos, K. N. (2001). The "prevailing religion" in Greece: its meaning and implications.
Journal of Church and State, 43(3), 511. Retrieved from http://0go.galegroup.com.athens.iii.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE
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Livanos, I. (2010). The relationship between higher education and labour market in greece: The
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Makortoff, K. (2015). Migrant crisis may hurt vital Grekk tourism industry. Retrieved from
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/02/migrant-crisis-may-hurt-vital-greek-tourismindustry.html
Mihail, D. (2006). Gender-based stereotypes in the workplace: The case of greece. Equal
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Panagopoulos, C. (2014). The new face of Greece: Modern, innovative and inviting.
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Rinegar, J. (2012). The creation (and destruction) of the greek economic miracle. Indian Journal
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Appendix

Figure 1, A map of the area of Greece and bordering countries derrived from Google Maps
(2015). Notice the small distance of water between Greece and Turkey. This is the source of the
majority of Greeces refugees.

Figure 2, The January Greek prime minister election. The election resulted in Alexsis Tsipras
winning first place (Syriza Party). The runner up party is the liberalistic- left wing New
Democracy party, and third place is the far- right wing Golden Dawn party. The chart is created
by The Economist (2015).

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