With the summer kicking off another (tourism) season for Greece, PotamitisVekris Co-Managing Partner, George Bersis, shares with us how this Mediterranean country’s economic outlook is shining brighter and brighter.
Greece’s real estate sector has always contributed significantly to the development of the nation’s economy. It has to be noted that Greece is a country where home ownership rates are among the highest in Europe. Also, real estate was traditionally considered by most Greeks as a rather safe investment. Thus, real estate is favorably affected by tourism, which is another huge sector of the Greek economy. All of these factors led to the sector’s remarkable growth, which peaked in 2007.
The COVID-19 crisis that has afflicted Europe throughout this unusual year has necessitated significant changes to the way lawyers work and communicate with and serve their clients. To find out how these changes played out in Greece, we spoke with Yanos Gramatidis, Head of Government & Privatization, and Betty Smyrniou, Head of Labor and Social Benefits and Aviation at Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners.
Over the course of our seven years, CEE Legal Matters has interviewed most of the British lawyers working on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe as part of our recurring “Expat on the Market” feature. We reached out to them recently and asked them to bring us up to speed on what they’re doing and/or share their thoughts on the ramifications of Brexit or the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The novel coronavirus has sent markets into a tailspin and forced the scrapping of many plans for this business year. Commercial law firms, their businesses closely tied to the way economies ebb and flow, have been forced to adapt. This global phenomenon is in some ways particularly poignant in Greece, which was finally, after a decade of darkness, showing signs of returning to the light. Commercial Greek law firms, excited about the prospects of a highly-anticipated economic recovery, have discovered they’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. Still, they insist, good times are just around the corner.
The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence published on February 19th by the European Commission presents some important building block policy options to enable the trustworthy and secure development of artificial intelligence in the EU, fully respecting the presiding values and the fundamental rights of its citizens. The enormous volume of data which has already been generated and that yet to be generated constitutes an opportunity for Europe to position itself at the forefront of global AI policy. The use of AI brings both fears and uncertainties: on the one hand, citizens fear they will be left powerless against the information asymmetries of algorithmic decision-making, while on the other, companies are truly concerned with legal uncertainty.
Virginia Murray is a partner in Watson Farley & Williams’ International Project & Structured Finance Group and is Head of the Greek law Corporate, Projects and Finance practice in the firm’s Athens office. She graduated from Cambridge in 1989 and moved to Greece and qualified as a Greek lawyer in 1998. She is fluent in Greek.
Greece is slowly recovering from the economic crisis – although even “crisis” hardly seems to capture the depths of the country’s economic plummet – that plunged the country into financial lockdown, with massive restructuring commitments to the Troika, record unemployment, and nose-diving foreign investment. With the darkest days of recession now past, and with a new government in power, the country finds itself peering forward, hoping that the light it sees coming towards it through the lingering fog is the sun of a new day … and not an oncoming train.
The latest buzzwords in the automotive and manufacturing industry, “autonomous driving” and “connected mobility,” serve as foretokens of a new “mobility services” era. The industry is affected by current ecological, environmental, and digital standards, and the mobility habits, trends, and demand are gradually disbanding from conventional practices. New indicators are affecting business models in this important industry, including those of parts-suppliers and distributors, by calling for new regulations and consumer expectations.
In an attempt to lighten the heavy burden on the Greek judicial system, articles 178 to 206 of Law 4512/2018 on Arrangements for the Implementation of the Structural Reforms of the Economic Adjustment Programs and Other Provisions provide guidelines for new mediation procedures in civil and commercial matters. This alternative extrajudicial dispute resolution method seeks to provide an attractive and expeditious solution in the form of an executed agreement that is immediately enforceable.
With less than a month before it eventually rolls out across the EU, the GDPR is still treated by many businesses as a complicated piece of legislation triggering serious debate between professionals and regulators and imposing a heavy compliance burden for large organizations. However, the GDPR implementation date – May 25, 2018 – should be looked at more as a starting line rather than a hard deadline, providing organizations with the opportunity to map – through their search to identify any personal data processing – both their entire corporate life and their day-to-day operations.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
Greece has long been a regional energy market. However, drastic changes have been taking place which have the potential to transform Greece to an energy hub in the South Eastern Mediterranean region. The first step was made with the inauguration of the Greek-Turkish gas pipeline at the beginning of the millennium.