Greece Bears No Gifts for Foreign Productions

Greece’s locations industry lost out last month when the producers of the forthcoming Bourne film decided to bypass Athens, instead shooting scenes set there in Spain, lured by attractive tax incentives.

Despite its chronic economic crisis, Greece has yet to introduce its own rebates. Earlier this year, former culture minister Nikos Xydakis began drafting legislation for an incentive program, but prime minister Alexis Tsipras abruptly resigned in August, putting the plans in limbo.

Costas Labropoulos of CL Prods. — which serviced “The Bourne Identity” and was in talks to bring the latest Bourne shoot to Greece — says such promises are nothing new. “We’ve been hearing this for over 15 years.”

Complicated labor laws and insurance policies add to the frustration for crews looking to shoot in Greece, with no film office in place to help cut through the bureaucratic morass.

Greek producers have appealed to the government to make the country more attractive for foreign shoots, but Labropoulos is pessimistic that the recently elected regime would change course from earlier ones. “They don’t seem interested in resolution, and they don’t seem interested in cinema,” he says. “We’re trying to solve these problems on our own.”

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