Competition

Greece: Competition Assessment Project

 

OECD identifies hundreds of competition-distorting rules and provisions

27/11/2013 - An 11-month investigation by the OECD in cooperation with the Greek authorities has identified a wide range of regulations and legal provisions that undermine competition.

>> Full text of the news release

>> Download the report (pdf)

 

‌ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Greek economy is in a prolonged downturn. Following a sovereign debt crisis, GDP has contracted for six successive years and the rate of unemployment rose to 26% in late 2012. Severe structural problems underpin the economic crisis, including poor competitiveness. Prices in many sectors are not falling, suggesting competition problems that will add to the hardship of poorer consumers as their incomes fall.  Longer term, uncompetitive markets harm growth. The OECD’s product market regulation indicators suggest that in Greece many of the constraints on competition arise from regulation.

 

Against this background, the Greek government asked the OECD to conduct an assessment of regulatory constraints on competition in four sectors: tourism, retail trade, food processing and construction materials.

 

The process

Making use of the methodology in the Competition Assessment Toolkit, a project team composed of competition experts, economists and lawyers from OECD and the Hellenic Competition Commission completed an assessment of the costs and benefits of regulations restricting competition in the designated sectors and proposed specific recommendations for change. 

 

Stakeholder involvement is central to the work of the OECD and the project team worked closely with the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks and other key stakeholders throughout.  A High-level Committee of seven secretaries general from the relevant ministries was appointed to oversee and support the work of the project team. These High-level Committee members will also play an important role now that the project is completed as they will be in charge of implementing the policy recommendations proposed.

 

Building capacity

Working alongside the project team in Athens has also helped to build the capacity of officials from the government and the Hellenic Competition Commission to conduct competition assessment independently in line with international best practices through the application of the Competition Assessment Toolkit. The substantive knowledge gained can then be applied to similar exercises in other sectors or to new laws and regulations.

Project Timeline

Launched in January 2013, the assessment took place in five stages:

1

Initial mapping of all relevant legislation for the four sectors.

2

In-depth scan of legislation to identify potential obstacles to competition.

3

Analysis of the selected regulations to assess the harm to competition. This will be qualitative and, where possible, quantitative to demonstrate the potential economic benefits from lifting any identified barriers to competition.

4

Formulation of recommendations for the redesign or even abolishment of regulations shown to be harmful to competition.

5

Publication of a final report with recommendations for redesigning regulations.

OECD Secretary-General Gurría presents the report in Athens on 27 November 2013.

DOCUMENTS AND LINKS

Competition Assessment Toolkit

OECD Recommendation on Competition Assessment

Pro-competitive Policy Reforms

Liberalisation and competition intervention in regulated sectors

More OECD Work on Greece

OECD Competition Main Page


Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding

Athens - 3 December 2012: OECD and Greek government officials meet to
finalise and sign the Memorandum of Understanding for this project.‌

Left to right: Mr. Lazaros Tossounidis, Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Administrative Reform & Electronic Governance; Mr. Panos Karvounis, Chief Representative of the European Commission in Athens; Mr. Manousos G. Voloudakis, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Administrative Reform & Electronic Governance; Mr Antonis Manitakis, Minister, Ministry of Administrative Reform & Electronic Governance; Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister, Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Communications; Mr Luiz de Mello, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary-General, OECD

Left to right: Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister, Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Communications; Mr Luiz de Mello, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary-General, OECD

 

 

 

 

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