Many of the business closures mentioned above are a result of the barriers met by Greek enterprises. Barriers are met both during the start up phase as well during their daily operation. Following there is going to be a reference on various researches made on the topic.
In a research carried out by the World Bank on 2008, about the ease of starting a business, Greece was in the last position among 58 countries. On the same research for 2011, it was in the 101th position from 183 countries. This research evaluated the ease of starting a business based on the following aspects: Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit, Protecting Investors, Paying Taxes, Trading Across Borders, Enforcing Contracts and Resolving Insolvency.
The OECD has carried out research on a relative topic, that of administrative burdens on start-ups. Administrative burdens on start ups measure a country’s regulatory environment. They are calculated by using three main indicators: state control, barriers to entrepreneurship and barriers to trade and investment. Figure 9 pictures an analysis of the results for 20 European economies for the year 2008. Greece, along with Hungary, was evaluated to be the country with the most administrative burdens on start ups, scoring 2.6 and 2.8 respectively. The countries with the least administrative burdens to start ups were Ireland (0.4), Germany (0.49), the UK (0.55) and Denmark (0.6).
The OECD has also used Word Bank 2010 data, in order to measure the ease of starting a business (Figure 10). Using the World Bank data, Greece is the European country, among the other 20, where it is the most difficult to start a business. It is followed by Spain and the Czech Republic. The country where it is the easiest to start a business is Ireland, followed by the UK and France. Aspects of water

In order to examine which are the exact barriers met by firms that operate in the Greek economy, a reference will be made to a recent study on the topic. According to a study about business barriers made by the Centre for Studies and Research of the Athens Chamber of Industry and Commerce in a sample of 1.104 firms, between 3 and 24 October 2011, the results were the following (Tables 16 and 17). The results of this research are very enlightening. Business owners in Greece agree that the most important barriers they face are tax rates, employment and insurance status, market psychology and state bureaucracy. Three out four barriers originate directly from the government while the other one market psychology can be tackled by government action e.g. investments.


Figure 10: Starting a Business 2010 (Ranking of countries from least to more restricting)

Table 16: Very Important Barriers Met by Greek Enterprises

Barrier % of Respondents
Continuous changes and instability in the tax employment and insurance status 80%
Market psychology 78%
Height of tax rates and other fees that make up the cost of running a business 62%
Bureaucracy in dealing with the state 57%
Inability to control black markets and shadow economy 57%
Inability to fight tax evasion 55%
Corruption in transactions between businesses and state 52%
Reduction in purchasing power of workers and pensioners due to the lowering of salaries and pensions 51%
Difficulty in accessing the banking system for financing 49%
Height of social security contributions 41%
Large public sector 45%
Difficulty of accessing local national and European funding programs 37%

Table 17: Moderately Important Barriers Met by Greek Enterprises

Barrier % of Respondents
Wage costs 43%
Rent 33%
Delayed privatization and opening of the professions 26%
Demonstrations and marches 25%