Bloomberg News

Rehn Says EU Open to Discussion of Greek Special Economic Zones

October 31, 2011

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union would be open to discussing “special economic zones” with the Greek government as a way to improve business conditions in the country, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

The zones, which can offer trade benefits or streamlined customs procedures, are an “interesting idea” that could help the country become more competitive, Rehn said in an Oct. 28 written response to a question from the European Parliament. So far, he said, the idea has not been discussed at the EU or with Greek officials.

“We believe that this is an idea for the Greek authorities to consider whether to proceed with such initiatives,” Rehn said. “Should the government decide so, the commission is ready to discuss with the Greek authorities the possibility of putting these ideas into practice.”

Rehn said Greece is now making progress improving its business environment using measures like creating industrial areas. A special economic zone would require careful consideration of political, regulatory, tax and business factors, Rehn said.

--Editor: Jones Hayden

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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