Certain historical, deeply-rooted cultural characteristics have come to the fore to cause major problems not only for the Greeks but also the rest of the world.

Greece’s foray into the European Union and the access to easy credit afforded on the back of that, pushed Greece to the edge of bankruptcy in 2010 and the final outcome of Greece’s woes could still take many years to unfold

These problems are the result of a culture within the country which has offered business visitors a number of challenging paradoxes for many years.

The greatest of these paradoxes would be why a country whose people are renowned for an entrepreneurial approach, should have seemingly failed to have kept pace with the economic advances enjoyed by many of their near European neighbours. The reasons behind this lack of obvious economic success are manifold but many observers would link it directly to certain underlying cultural norms which Greece and Greeks exhibit.

Another seeming paradox is that although Greeks are fiercely patriotic, this love of country does not equate with a love of the Greek state or its institutions. The government has been perceived as interventionist and overprotective, while the public sector is viewed as bloated, inefficient and often corrupt.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Greece

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Greece. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Greece and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips