People look at pots on display at a shop in central Athens, Greece, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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Greek carpenter Vassilis Tsigas surveys the cavernous shop floor of his family's woodworking business where a handful of employees are finishing balcony doors for a boutique hotel on an Aegean island. His company, which produces high-quality wood fittings for homes and hotels, was once a flourishing business, but annual turnover has dropped from €9m during the building boom a decade ago to just €1.5m last year.Greece's economy is set to grow by about 1.5 per cent this year, rising to 2.4 per cent in 2018, according to projections by the central bank and the country's creditors.Bankers in Athens say about 20 per cent of such companies have gone out of business.Piraeus Bank plans to finance €700m of investment next year by small and medium-sized Greek companies in tourism, manufacturing and services on top of €1bn already allocated to SMEs by the country's four largest banks.The Tsigas brothers face problems raising bank financing because of a €3m backlog of receivables owed to the company by local contractors that have gone out of business.
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