Government mulling fewer restrictions on manufacturing in Attica with more industrial/business parks

The government is moving toward a lifting of current restrictions that prevent the foundation of new industrial and manufacturing plants in Attica, where it hopes to increase the number of industrial and business parks that offer businesses greater privileges and facilities.

The measures are included in the draft omnibus bill for development law and hope to “corral” existing industrial concerns – mostly based in western Attica but also in Mesogia and Eleonas – into organised industrial zones that provide more favourable licensing, expansion and financing conditions. According to sources, this targets some 70 informal “conglomerations” of industrial and manufacturing concerns that employ thousands of workers and are engaged in the food industry, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, packaging, plastics, glass-making and other manufacturing sectors.

The draft omnibus bill also includes statutes written by the environment and energy ministry that remove current restrictions and allow the founding of facilities for “medium-disturbance” industrial activity in Attica, provided they are established within an organised industrial zone or business park.

According to the environment ministry, this lessens the environmental burden on areas near to the capital – such as Viotia or Corinth – and allows enterprises to use the additional capabilities offered by industrial parks for avoiding and managing pollution, in addition to attracting investments and creating new jobs.

The introduction to the bill notes that current legislation reflects “the problems of previous decades” and not the current conditions of de-industrialisation and unemployment, especially in Athens.

Attica currently accounts for only 8.4 pct of the total area of organised industrial parks but 40 pct of the GDP generated by manufacturing, as well as 34.4 pct of businesses that employ 39 pct of workers in Greece.