One in four out of work as biggest firm departs
Greece’s jobless rate topped 25 per cent yesterday as its biggest company said it would move out of the country.
The announcement by bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic that it was switching its listing from Athens to London, and moving its base to low-tax Switzerland, is a bitter blow to the debt-crippled nation.
The firm, which bottles Coke and other drinks in 28 countries, is Greece’s biggest by market value and is 23 per cent owned by the Coca-Cola Co of the United States. It said Greek plants would be unaffected.
The announcement coincided with data that showed Greek unemployment climbing for a 35th consecutive month in July to 25.1 per cent from a revised 24.8 per cent in June. The jobless rate has more than tripled since the recession began five years ago.
Fifty-four per cent of Greeks aged 15-24 years are out of work, fuelling violent protests against the austerity measures demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange for more than €200 billion (£162bn) in loans since 2010. Greece is still far off target.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde, in Tokyo yesterday, backed calls to give Greece two more years, to 2016, to cut its debt.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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