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New crisis stunts Greece's green shoots

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 01:46

New Greek businesses and startups that opened amidst the debt crisis say they fear the upcoming snap general election. As Hayley Platt reports many say their new firms are at risk.

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It was a gamble that has paid off, for now anyway. In 2012 Korina Zervaki left her job at a struggling local newspaper in Greece to open a boutique com cafe. Having survived the worst of the financial crisis, her business is just beginning to bear fruit. But the upcoming elections and the uncertainty they bring are causing concern. She says the current Conservative government hasn't been as supportive as she would have liked. SOUNDBITE: Korina Zervaki, Shop owner, saying (Greek) "I would like the next government to give more support to innovative ideas and entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing something new and different - I say this from personal experience, because I had a really hard time setting up." Unable to find work at home, the crisis years drove many young educated Greeks abroad. But Dimosthenis Kaponis and his business partner Yorgos Panzaris decided to stay, opening an online and mobile travel guide business. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ATHENSBOOK CO-FOUNDER DIMOSTHENIS KAPONIS, AGED 34, SAYING: "Elections worry us, worry everybody, I guess, because you don't know what's happening, especially in Greece you get this volatility, things change very quickly. Anyone who says that they're not worried is probably not in the market and probably not doing business." The major concern is the euro - and what will happen if Greece elects new leaders. Justin Urquhart Stewart is from Seven Investment Management. SOUNDBITE: Justin Urquhart Stewart, Marketing Director, Seven Investment Management, saying (English): "Let's assume that actually Syriza probably do win or are part of the government they they're going to be in a position to not actually wishing to abandon the euro but adjust it. This is a crucial moment for the ECB to try and reset the position with regard to the euro." Greek businesses don't relish change - and the latest data from business leaders and consumers puts their mood at its lowest level for nine months.

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New crisis stunts Greece's green shoots

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 01:46