(Greece) – According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, or ELSTAT, Greek exports declined significantly in May of 2016. Many believe that this decline is the result of the economic uncertainties that have come about in recent months, including the events that have surrounded the current bailout deal as well as the privatization of the ports in Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
ELSTAT recently issued figures that said that when compared to May of 2015, exports in May of 2016 contracted by 12.4%. This decline actually totaled just over 2 billion euros. When not including fuel products, the decline was actually set at 6.4%. This signifies that exports have logged their first decline in over four months when exports faced a slight increase.
In a statement, the Greek International Business Association, or SEVE, said that, “his decline, besides the general problems and the continued uncertainty in the Greek economy, is partly due to the situation in the country in recent months, as the industrial action at the ports of Thessaloniki and Piraeus started in May.”
Christina Sakellaridi, the Panhellenic Exporters Association chief said that, an entire year has passed since the capital controls were imposed without normality having been restored to the market. The only favorable impact is expected from the repayment of the state’s dues to private parties, the activation of the investment incentives law, the restoration of cheap liquidity flows to banks, the developments concerning bad loans and privatizations, and the attraction of new investments.”
The Greek economy has been on shaky ground since before the first bailout in 2009 and 2010. Recently, the country received the first payment for its third bailout. The Greek government needs these funds to pay loan balances to the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. As a result of the bailouts, the Greek people have had to endure a number of austerity measures, including pension cuts, salary decreases, and increased taxes.