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Greece Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the basic entrepreneurial system overlaid in 1981-89 by a socialist system that enlarged the public sector from 55% of GDP in 1981 to about 70% in 1989. Since then, the public sector has been reduced to about 60% of GDP. Tourism continues as a major source of foreign exchange, and agriculture is self-sufficient except for meat, dairy products, and animal feedstuffs. Over the last decade, real GDP growth has averaged 1.6% a year, compared with the European Union average of 2.2%. Inflation continues to be well above the EU average, and the national debt has reached 140% of GDP, the highest in the EU. Prime Minister PAPANDREOU will probably make only limited progress correcting the economy's problems of high inflation, large budget deficit, and decaying infrastructure. His economic program suggests that although he will shun his expansionary policies of the 1980s, he will avoid tough measures needed to slow inflation or reduce the state's role in the economy. He has limited the previous government's privatization plans, for example, and has called for generous welfare spending and real wage increases. Athens continues to rely heavily on EU aid, which recently has amounted to about 6% of GDP. Greece almost certainly will not meet the EU's Maastricht Treaty convergence targets of public deficit held to 3% of GDP and national debt to 60% of GDP by 1999. Per capita GDP has fallen below Portugal's level, the lowest among EU members.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $93.7 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      0.4% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $8,870 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      10.9% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      10.1% (1994 est.)

    • Budget:

        $28.3 billion

        $37.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.2 billion (1994)

    • Exports:
      $9 billion (f.o.b., 1993)

        manufactured goods 53%, foodstuffs 34%, fuels 5%

        Germany 24%, Italy 14%, France 7%, UK 6%, US 4% (1993)

    • Imports:
      $19.2 billion (f.o.b., 1993)

        manufactured goods 72%, foodstuffs 15%, fuels 10%

        Germany 16%, Italy 14%, France 7%, Japan 7%, UK 6% (1993)

    • External debt:
      $26.9 billion (1993)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 3.2% (1993 est.); accounts for 18% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        8,970,000 kW

        35.8 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        3,257 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining, petroleum

    • Agriculture:
      including fishing and forestry, accounts for 12% of GDP; principal products - wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; self-sufficient in food except meat, dairy products, and animal feedstuffs

    • Illicit drugs:
      illicit producer of cannabis and limited opium; mostly for domestic production; serves as a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin transiting the Balkan route

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-81), $525 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.39 billion

    • Currency:
      1 drachma (Dr) = 100 lepta

    • Exchange rates:
      drachmae (Dr) per US$1 - 238.20 (January 1995), 242.60 (1994), 229.26 (1993), 190.62 (1992), 182.27 (1991), 158.51 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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