During the first three months in 2015 a total of 5,341 business shut down, which translates to about 59 closures per day, according to data supplied by the central union of chambers, with the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) warning that there may be more than 8,500 closures in the first half of the year.

ESEE president Vasilis Korkidis warned that the extensive negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors is further exacerbating the dire situation, with the market continuing to suffer, hinting towards a new wave of closures. This in turn will cause the rate of unemployment to rise.

According to ESEE, the main causes are

  • Lack of liquidity: About 95% of loan applications filed by SMEs are rejected by systemic banks, in accordance of ECB rules, regulations and instructions towards the Bank of Greece
  • Banking pressure: Bank account deposits have dropped by about 58%, from 219 billion to 138 billion euros, with the ELA going towards funds that are being withdrawn, amid fears and uncertainty for a default or Grexit.
  • Over-taxation: Between 2010 and 2014 measures and taxes were introduced worth 63.1 billion euros, while the country’s gross domestic product dropped by 52 billion euros, 34 billion of which in trade and domestic consumption
  • Reduced turnover: ICAP studies show that the average household spends 21.1% less on essentials, which translates to about 660 million euros. Furthermore, ESEE studies indicate that the first quarter of 2015, turnover is at least 20% less than the same period last year. Imports dropped by 16%, as did exports, by 13%, while the rate of deflation is steady at -1.9%.