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OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece

image of 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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Conclusion

Benefits from removing regulatory barriers to competition in Greece

The four sectors outlined in the preceding chapters accounted for 21% of Greece’s GDP by output in 2011 and almost 27% of total employment. The process used in this assessment was divided into four stages: in the first two stages 1 053 pieces of legislation were identified, collected and scanned. In total, 555 individual provisions were identified as restrictive and potentially harmful to competition. In stages 3 and 4 the provisions were assessed and analysed to establish the harm caused to competition, whether a loss of efficiency, loss of consumer benefits or a loss of foregone turnover and revenue. A total of 329 recommendations to remove the identified barriers to competition are made. If the recommendations are fully implemented, the benefits to the Greek economy will be long-lasting in terms of greater consumer choice and variety, lower prices, increased productivity and ultimately higher economic growth. Two annexes, one on the methodology used and one describing the results of the analysis by provision, existing legislation, harm to competition, recommendations and potential benefits are included at the end of the publication.

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