American tech giant Microsoft announced a $1 billion investment in Greece which will bring three data centers to Athens and which includes training programs for approximately 100,000 government and private sector workers, educators and students.
Announced on Monday, the investment comes after nine months of negotiations and a Greek summer tourism season that was significantly hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This significant investment is a reflection of our confidence in the Greek economy, in the Greek people and the Greek government,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said during a press conference in Athens. “It’s not something we do often and it’s not something that we do lightly.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the investment “significant” and “innovative” and said it would turn Greece into “a global hub for cloud computing.”
“Today is an important day for our country as Microsoft announced its biggest investment in Greece in its 28 years of presence in the country,” Mitsotakis wrote via Facebook. “[This is] an innovative investment with multi-level economic importance, but also a great social return.”
Due to the pandemic’s negative impact on tourism, Mitsotakis and his administration said they plan to shift the balance of Greece’s economy by developing sectors such as energy, technology and defense.
The prime minister said the Microsoft agreement brings two primary benefits: One, it improves Greece’s global image as an investment destination, and two, it benefits small and medium-sized Greek companies.
Microsoft’s announcement comes four months after another American giant, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, announced its own $1 billion investment in Greece.
The casino will be part of The Hellinikon Project, an €8 billion ($9 billion) redevelopment of the land along the famed Athens Riviera that includes a marina, acres of parks and recreational areas, condominiums and athletic facilities.
Watch the full GRforGRowth press conference
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