— EURACTIV (@EURACTIV) 9 mei 2017
According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs George Katrougalos, the Brexit will have consequences for the Greek economy, especially the tourism industry. Katrougalos based his remarks on the Bank of Greece, which estimated that the effects would range from 0.4% to 0.8% of Greek gross domestic product (GDP), which is between €800 million to €1.6 billion. Katrougalos said that “the fall in foreign exchange earnings is estimated to range between 2.29% to 6.3% of the total volume of revenues coming from British tourists.” Approximately 2.4 million British tourists visited Greece in 2015, spending about €2 billion while on holiday.
The minister made his remarks at the Greek Parliament’s European Affairs Committee. There he also stated that Greece’s objective in the Brexit process was to avoid negative financial implications on its budget. “We are currently moving into uncharted waters, as not all mechanisms have been activated in order to have a clear picture of the impact,” the minister warned.
Although the Greeks should keep a close eye on every penny, the impact of the Brexit tourism drawback sounds like merely another drop in the ocean of debt. Greece’s debt stands at 179 percent of its GDP, or about 315 billion euros. Currently, the country owes about 216 billion euros to the European Stability Mechanism, the euro-area bailout fund (and its predecessor), as well as to other euro-area countries.
Perhaps the ever looming Greek debt could be the reason Brussels rushed to raise their Brexit divorce bill up to €100 billion, not even bothering to check if it would be legally possible, which, according to the European Commissions’ own lawyers; it isn’t. Tough luck in that department, but still this was a week to mildly cheer for the Greeks.
Tough luck in that department, but still this was a week in which the Greeks could cheer mildly. They agreed to bailout reforms deals with their creditors and their biggest fanboy Macron took the highest seat at the Elysée. Greece’s big debt deadline is in June, so let’s hope for them it will be an early summer this year.