Greek unemployment surged by 1% in one month to 24.4%, and by the end of the year is likely to be nearly 30%. What this means in practical tax revenue terms (if the tax collectors were actually doing their job collecting taxes, instead of striking) is that there is nobody generating any economic products and services, and thus no state revenues.
Kathimerini confirmed in a report that almost a third of all business in Athens have now shuttered: "The number of shuttered shops on the capital's busiest commercial streets, Panepistimiou and Stadiou, also hit a record high in August, reaching 34.7 percent on Panepistimiou and 42 percent on Akadimias, up 14 percent in the last six months."
Greece's deep recession has forced almost a third of businesses in the capital's commercial district to close down as shrinking incomes and frequent strikes drive Athenians away.
Tens of thousands of small businesses, which make up a big chunk of the struggling economy, have shut since Greece secured a 110-billion-euro bailout package in 2010 in exchange for promises of painful austerity measures.
On the capital's cobbled pedestrian shopping streets, long lines of shops are boarded shut while others have «Everything must go» signs plastered across their windows. Some arcades, once bustling with activity, are empty and enclosed by derelict buildings.
In the city's «commercial triangle», where generations of merchants had run successful businesses a stone's throw from the central Syntagma Square, an August census by retail lobby group ESEE found 31 percent of shops had closed.
"There are no signs that this percentage will fall and this is very worrying,» said ESEE head Vassilis Korkidis, estimating that about 63,000 Greek businesses were at risk of closing down within the next year.