Greek crisis upsets Edirne’s exporters
EDİRNE - Anatolia News Agency
Taxis wait for passengers during a public transport strike in Athens. AP PHOTO
Greek economic turmoil has hit the businesses of Turkey’s exporters in the northwestern province of Edirne, said Turkish exporters in the city yesterday.
“Our exports to Greece have seriously decreased,” said Can Ertuğrul, general manager of Melcan Lojistic, noting that the company’s exports used to be nearly 300,000 euros to Greece before the economic crisis brought them down to less than 50,000 Euros. The crisis in Greece has affected all Turkish exporters in the northwestern part of Turkey. Noting that the Greek government recently increased value-added tax (VAT) from 19 percent to 23 percent for imports to Greece, Ertuğrul said, “Officials started to have sticker inspections for our trucks and fine us heavily even for minor issues.” According to him, the fines also increased the costs of the transportation from Turkey to Greece. “They are having serious financial difficulty and we can hardly make our payments,” he said, adding that natural stones and furniture exports to the country from Turkey have slowed down due to a halt in the construction sector.
Payment difficulties of Greek firms
“Many firms in Greece are now experiencing payment difficulties,” said Oktay Tarhan, board member of Tarhan Construction Materials, noting that ongoing strikes in Greece have caused significant financial loss in Greek businesses. According to him, recent hikes in VAT in Greece have both hit the Greek consumption and Turkish exporters.
“Unfortunately, we cannot see the future now within this instability,” said Tarhan, adding that the current economic crisis in Greece is preventing Turkish businessmen in the northwestern part of the country from having clear investment and trade plans for next year.
”Furniture exports have slowed down rapidly,” said Tarhan, adding that his company’s natural stones exports to Greece decreased by 50 percent in the last few months. Emphasizing that his company exported nearly 800,000 euros worth of products to Greece in the previous year, Tarhan said, “Now it has slumped down to 600,000 euros.”