A latest World Bank report gives kudos to thrice bailed-out Greece for taking significant action towards improving the business environment in the eastern Mediterranean country, although warning that business people still face increased "red tape", a negative factor that also differs from one area to another. The reports cites how, with specific measures, the country can Greece can increase its ranking by 18 spots.
The results were included in the WB report Doing Business in the European Union 2020: Greece, Ireland and Italy.
Greek cities are cited as among Europe best performers in the category of starting a new business, with the unheard of number - by Greek standards - of three procedures now needed.
Conversely, noteworthy disparities arise between regions in four other main categories surveyed in the report, namely, construction permits, electricity service, registering real estate and enforcing contracts via court action or arbitration.
In one case study, a business dispute at a first instance court varies from a year and eight months in Thessaloniki to just nearly an agonizing four years in Athens, where roughly half the population in the country of 11 million residents live.
In a statement, Arup Banerji, the World Bank Group's regional director for the European Union, noted that the "...The Greek government is making progress on reforms to get business regulations right. The uneven performance among cities shows that there is still great potential for yielding gains in competitiveness' said 'We hope that this report will help policy makers and policy implementers coordinate their efforts at the national and municipal levels to create an environment for businesses to grow and function effectively."