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Greek business warns politicians

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 02:01

May.08 - Athens' business community expresses concern after an election that left the country in political limbo, while in France businesses say it's a case of ''wait and see'' with Hollande. Sonia Legg reports

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The majority of Greek voters may have had enough of austerity but many business leaders in the country have not. That's the message from the President of Athen's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Constantine Michalos says without financial support from abroad 25 thousand businesses will go bust. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSTANTINE MICHALOS, PRESIDENT OF THE ATHENS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, SAYING: "The major issue for the Greek economy was the liquidity crunch. And we have 25 billion euros which have been earmarked for the Greek banking institutions by the troika, however, unless there is a government in place, these funds will not be released and every week or month that goes by it means more and more lockups for Greek businesses." If we continue in this same manner by September I think we will have an additional 25 thousand businesses closing up." Sixty thousand businesses have closed in Greece over the past two years, increasing unemployment and deepening the recession. The prospect of a new government that rejects the agreed bailout deal fills Michalos with dread. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSTANTINE MICHALOS, PRESIDENT OF THE ATHENS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, SAYING: "The sense of logic needs to prevail with our political leaders because whether they come from the left-wing spectrum or the centre spectrum or the right-wing spectrum they have to realise that this is a national crisis." In France there's no sense of crisis among business leaders. They say they're ready to work with the President-elect Francois Hollande and are waiting to see what measures he introduces. Laurence Parisot is head of the French Employers' Federation (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF FRENCH EMPLOYERS FEDERATION, LAURENCE PARISOT, SAYING: "We regret this electoral campaign because it was a very French-centred campaign. We didn't discuss of the new world as it was today with its speed and its openness and I think we will have to explain that to the new government." Hollande has made growth the key aim of his government. Many European countries - Greece in particular - are keen to see if he can find a magic formula for creating it Sonia Legg, Reuters

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Greek business warns politicians

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 02:01