SEV: Greek businesses reported accumulated losses of 85 bln euros in 2008-2015

Greek businesses have reported accumulated losses approaching 85 billion euros in the period between 2008 and 2015 according to the annual reports they have published, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) said in its weekly bulletin on Thursday.

Profitable businesses had recovered from the 2012 lows according to figures in 2015, with the figures for 2016 indicating that the trend was likely to continue, but were still at about half their pre-crisis levels while losses were significantly reduced.

SEV stressed the need for measures to remove tax obstacles to the recovery and facilitate business mergers and restructuring, such as consolidating profits and losses for tax purposes in the takeover of a loss-making by a profitable business.

The report also warned that Greece was currently running counter to a worldwide trend for tax breaks to businesses, ushered in by the Trump tax reforms, which would create disincentives for the Greek economy’s production reorganisation and recovery.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Greece taxes profits to shareholders at a rate that is slightly higher than the European Union average and at a much higher rate than its closest competitor countries outside the EU. With the addition of social insurance contributions, this makes the country a “taxation champion” and it is the only country in the sample that has signficantly increased the sum of these taxes between 2000 and 2017.