Federation of Hellenic Enterprises wants more simplification of fast track procedures

The Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) wants a further simplification of the laws of licensing procedures for investments overall but especially so that regions with lower income and smaller investments may be included in fast track licensing procedures.

SEV said that a fast track procedure was established in order to accelerate licensing procedures for investments of strategic importance because of their size, number of job positions, and so on. Under the new legislation, authorities have a 45-day deadline to issue licenses for investment projects.

“Judging by the result, this legislation cannot be considered a success. The process is bureaucratic and not fast track, especially for the industry,” George Xerogiannis, head of SEV’s Industrial, Development Policies and Network department told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

According to data released by Enterprise Greece, the number of investments included or currently underway totals 13, mostly from the sectors of tourism and renewable energy sources. SEV referred to examples from other countries that could improve licensing efficiency in Greece.

Under the existing framework, investments in 11 sectors are considered strategic (industry, energy, tourism, transport/communication, health services, waste management, high-technology and innovation, education, culture, primary sector-agricultural product processing and services) as long as they fulfill at least one of these preconditions: have an investment cost of more than 100 million euros, have an investment cost of more than 15 million euros for investments in the industry, or 3.0 million euros for investment in the framework of the Jessica Fund, have an investment cost of more than 40 million euros and creating at least 120 new job positions, creating at least 150 sustainable job positions or preserving at least 600 job positions and finally have an investment cost of more than 5.0 million euros for investments on Business Parks.

SEV request changing the limits of inclusion in fast track procedures and their diversification depending on the region (i.e. introduce a lower inclusion limit for regions with higher investment support).