10 years of crisis

Smaller but unreformed corporate economy

In 2018, Greece officially exited the longest and deepest crisis that has been recorded in the Western world. Eight years of constant drop of economic activity, one could imagine that the productive tissue of the country has been destroyed.

Download the Executive summary

(PDF, 1,4mb)

The crisis left its marks on Greece


There was a huge value loss in the corporate economy, as company valuations recorded a 72% decline, but after 2012 equity values have recovered.

Few things changed in the structure of the economy as a result of the crisis. Even though the top companies in all sectors shrank in size, most of them remained in the same position while there were no new market share contenders.

The impact of the crisis on firms

What has really happened? 

The economy did not transform as a result of the economic shock. Instead, it mostly retained its structure, resisted change, drained from investment, its technological base weakened and lost value added

Swift cost adjustment

The crisis caused losses in the demand within the Greek economy, reaching a 12% decline compared to 2009. Under this pressure, Greek companies contained their operating costs by 11% and focused on operating profitability to counterbalance the loss

Less complexity and value added

Economic activity moved from services and constructions towards industry and tourism, but also towards lower added value and less embedded technology

A marked change in funding

During the crisis, the cost of funding rose and remained at high levels, corporates continued the systematic deleveraging and eliminated their working capital which led gradually to accumulation of cash

Lack of investment

There was a large reduction in investment despite the fact that the funding capacity of the companies seems to have recovered

To set in motion and fund growth, corporates need to identify projects with returns in excess of the long term cost of equity

3 broad policies must be implemented simultaneously aiming at reinstituting conditions

  • The corporate landscape must be cleared of Zombies at a fast pace. At the same time, the banking system must be cleared from NPLs, which absorb regulatory capital, so as to resume lending to the economy
  •  A well orchestrated trust building effort with a clear and convincing plan for the future has to be initiated in order to reduce sovereign risk and attract international strategic investors
  • As a result of investment, the economy will be rebalanced to higher value added services and products and expand into new markets. Coherent sectoral public policies promoting size, concessionary funding towards last stage R&D, demand and supply aggregation and clustering are necessary in facilitating this shift


Contact us

Olympia Liami

Manager, Market Research, PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874458

Kallia Mylonaki

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications , PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 8114386

Follow us