OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece
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OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece

The work undertaken by the Greek authorities in recent years to reinforce competition law and the Hellenic Competition Commission, to simplify business administration and to liberalise professional services have demonstrated the political willingness to address the problem of existing regulatory barriers to competition that have contributed to holding back the economic recovery.

The OECD Competition Assessment Project, through the scrutiny of legislation in four sectors of the Greek economy, food processing, retail trade, building materials and tourism, has identified 336 areas where particular reform can be undertaken, from a total of 539 provisions that were selected using the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit.

If our recommendations are implemented, benefits to consumers in Greece and to the Greek economy should arise in all four sectors. Throughout this report, we seek to identify the sources of those benefits and where possible provide quantitative estimates. Estimates are made on the basis of experiences of deregulation in other countries in some instances, or by relating conservative estimates of efficiency gains to the overall size of the business activity affected.

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Horizontal obstacles to competition You do not have access to this content

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A number of provisions cut across the four sectors already analysed and their horizontal nature may have a potential serious impact on competition. Among the issues analysed are fees imposed on advertising, rules pertaining to the establishment of companies, licensing issues and restrictions on transportation. A literature study indicates that Greece’s high advertising fees are unique in the world. Quantitative estimates indicate that eliminating the advertising fee will increase consumer welfare by EUR 1.8 billion annually, as well as generating around 800 new jobs in the advertising business. Restrictions on establishment licences, both on physical units and length of business activity are a barrier to entry and development of businesses. Temporary and permanent licences for trucks are also addressed. The business activities or inputs analysed in this section feed through the whole economy, which will have important multiplicative effects across the whole economy.

 
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