Greece’s only Ferrari dealership has had no sales for nearly two years | World news | The Guardian

7 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Greece’s only Ferrari dealership has had no sales for nearly two years | World news | The Guardian

Greece’s only Ferrari has had no sales for nearly two years

A man the closed Ferrari shop in Athens’ shopping area. Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

It is to see why Angeliki Karitsa shut up this month and announced she not be back until September.

As manager at Greece ‘s outlet selling Ferraris – the car for the super rich – Karitsa has some recent frustration: she has not a vehicle for almost two years.

In 2012 we sold a 458 Spider but since, she said, within of beginning her month-long summer And, no, we don’t keep We bring in cars on order.

is perhaps the loneliest saleswoman in In a country ravaged by six straight of recession and record unemployment, car have taken a thrashing, shipowners and other plutocrats reluctant to be seen parading wealth.

The collapse of the car market has emblematic of hardship as Greeks some of the most biting measures in modern times. four years into the debt crisis, new vehicles with the transport ministry up to this year dropped by than 75% from the same months in 2008 according to the Association of Motor Vehicle Representatives (AMVIR).

Pre-crisis, state revenues cars soared as Greece’s car accounted for 12% of GDP.

During months in 2008, more 187,000 passenger cars registered (12 of them Ferraris, and than 300 of them Porsches). compares with a total for year to July of just 37,000 – none of them a although there were a dozen Porsches.

During the six months of 2013, some passenger cars were compared to an average of 125,340 the past decade, said Patsios, AMVIR’s general With GDP down by more 20% since 2008 – the single drop in an advanced western since the Great Depression of the – it was, he insisted, more apparent … that luxury car have long since

In the 1980s, cars became the status symbol for Greece’s class, who had long been from enjoying them by levies. In the easy years banks ensured that minted euro credit was and cheap, most families had at two.

Dealing with since the crisis has not been – either for owners or officials. ministry officials say nearly of the 5.5m cars currently in (including around 700,000 owned by the state) have not insured, or have failed to an MOT test in the past three

A growing number of Greeks, to avoid increasingly expensive and fuel costs – duties on cars have risen since the country received its rescue funds from the EU and IMF – sought to offload their cars by exporting them.

Total exports, for all kinds of have soared from cars in 2010 to 22,053 in said Patsios, adding runaway duties on super had effectively eliminated demand for

The vast majority of vehicles are to end up in neighbouring Albania, a buyer’s for second hand and stolen and Georgia.

Those who thought were rich and bought Cayennes for €60,000 [£51,000] are now them for around €16,000 middlemen to countries like said Christos Savvides, a lover of cars who turned to a cab when his electronics job ended the crisis. They’ve discovered they’re just too expensive to Not even the banks want to cars because they can no afford the space to keep

Patsios vehemently rejects the that before the crisis the outdid other eurozone in their zeal for luxury Instead, he says, Greece’s road network and limited transport system ensured Athens and Thessaloniki, its two major suffered from major congestion that perhaps the impression there were luxury cars than really were. Luxury car were never at high in Greece and always below the average, he said. But stories of Greeks buying top-of-the-range often with EU subsidies, are

Shortly after the debt erupted in Athens in late policy circles were with rumours that the of Larissa (population 250,000) in the region of Thessaly had more Cayennes per capita than any in any other EU country.

Professor Polemarchakis, a former prime adviser and economics lecturer at University even went so far as to say were more German-made Cayennes in Greece than who declared and paid taxes on an income of over €50,000.


challenged he watered down the but insisted that the per capita of Cayennes in Larissa was twice of Cayennes in the OECD countries. It was an secret that Larissa was the of Porsche Cayennes, said

Back at the Ferrari dealership, refuses to be drawn on who snapped up the 458 (top speed 198mph).

however, is still rife the buyer was a Briton eager to much longer waiting in the UK, Ferrari’s biggest market in .

Karitsa was only willing to say in Greece customers were kept waiting not more three months.

Tourists economy

Bargain breaks, hotels and the lure of the Grecian sun tourists flocking to the crisis-stricken in June and the hope of a much-needed summer season.

Tourism in Greece – which largely on foreign holidaymakers – jumped 21% to (£1.35bn) in June compared a year earlier, marking a start to the traditional summer season. T ourism receipts in the half of the year overall up 18% at €3.32bn, according to the Bank of .

Tourist money, as well as a trade gap, helped to the country’s current account to a surplus of €663m in June €73.1m in the same month year.

Tourist businesses in having cut prices and overhauled offerings, said revenues been helped by a jump in tourists from Russia and taking longer breaks in the

Greece’s tourism authorities forecast receipts will 10% for this year as a whole to from 17 million visitors international tourists shunned the at the heart of the eurozone debt Katie Allen

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