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http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tec0002 1&plugin=1

This is where I was pulling the tax revenue numbers from, but it also breaks down tax collections by type (income, corporate, etc.)

Interesting about shipping, since I read a number of articles recently that put it at 18% of Greek GDP. I wonder, could this be related to the spectacular deviations in shipping costs? During much of the decade until 2008, Greek shippers were charging upwards of $110,000 a day per ship. By 2009, the rates for shipping dropped to $5,000, so low in fact that companies saved money by refusing contracts, drydocking ships, laying off workers, etc. Many of these companies showed income only from scrapping older ships for metal. I wonder where one might find a year-over-year comparison of the shipping industry.

by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 at 08:42:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's where I got the numbers for the charts I drew too. It's near a 4-5% difference between revenues in Greece and the Eurozone average. The shipping rates recovered in 2010 (but are near crash lows in 2011). Check the Baltic Exchange Index history here:

Some numbers on tourism and shipping (2003-2008) here. In Greek.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 at 08:57:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at that chart, I promise never to overstate, understate, or ever state anything about shipping's impact on Greece's GDP.

And people wonder why Greeks are happy-go-lucky.

by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 at 09:00:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am quite skeptical on the numbers circulating on shipping and tourism contribution to Greek GDP. These number are numbers by their respective lobbies so they tend to be inflated (for example, by including a broad area of services to "tourism"). They both use these data to extract tax concessions from the governments.  I would be happy to ask shipping and tourism lobbies to give figures not only for their supposed contribution to GDP but also to tax revenues (har, har). Their tax concessions on one hand and subsidies they get on the other one are really outrageous.

With a quick look at the official site of Hellenic Statistics I couldn't find data on Greek GDP composition braking down to shipping or tourism. That's why figures quoted by various sources differ significantly. For example, a recent paper by National Bank of Greece quotes shipping as 6.9% of GDP.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband

by Kostis Papadimitriou on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 01:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you can find the data here...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 01:56:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, or I need to change glasses.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 12:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am quite skeptical on the numbers circulating on shipping and tourism contribution to Greek GDP. These number are numbers by their respective lobbies so they tend to be inflated (for example, by including a broad area of services to "tourism").

"[W]hen you add up the growth prognosis of all companies of a sector strangely the market is often a lot bigger than it should be..."

- crankykarsten

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 09:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shipping is so flush and bust that this alone might explain the different numbers from different sources. Their revenues are not a mystery either since many Greek shippers are public companies. Shipping could be 7% GDP recently, but again, right now business is a bust. It's easy to imagine revenues quadrupling (if not more) in a good economy, and then it becomes a higher % of GDP.

I'd really like to know about the Greek banks and the fact they were started by shipping magnates. What's the relationship between these banks and the shippers who started them. What kind of impact does this have on Greece? It seems to me, should the world economy get going again, the shippers themselves can recapitalize banks in a similar fashion if the old ones collapse, as long as their wealth isn't too closely tied to the banks they created.

by Upstate NY on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 09:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shipping revenue might increase but I don't remember seeing trustworthy figures over 12% GDP, ever. Do not forget all those patriotic Greek shipowners who have their vessels under many flags of opportunity and the number of their hqs in London...

But see this (p.6) and you realize that as far as shipping is concerned Greece is an international tax haven...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 06:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, not only do the shareholders pay no tax, but those working in the offices of these companies pay no tax either!
by Upstate NY on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 08:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and of course the officers can pay the employees less, because they won't be taxed on it of course.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2011 at 08:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am fairly confident that a not insignificant percentage of higher paid members of staff are family or sons/daughters/etc of serious people / potential allies / partners. They would not be that poorly remunerated, I assume...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 21st, 2011 at 10:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, some of the public companies spread out pay to family members so it doesn't look like the CEO is taking a huge salary. This is the kind of stock that Wall Street loves because there's enough suspicion behind the company officers' motives to draw a lot of short interest. Plus, the fact the company is run by Greeks also attracts short interest. Then the mo-mo guys jump on board, pump the story when revenues in oil drilling and shipping come in, and they squeeze the shorts blind.

Wall Street loves stocks with big revenues and muddy stories. Pump and dump.

by Upstate NY on Tue Jun 21st, 2011 at 10:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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