(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Greece is set to lose another 195,000 private sector jobs as the government's strict austerity measures will cause thousands of businesses to close.

According to the Institute of Small Enterprises of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME/GSEVEE) report, the number of businesses shutting down amid the ongoing sovereign debt crisis will outpace the number of those opening up.

The group's general secretary Nikos Skorinis expects 195,000 jobs will be lost by the end of year as a result of businesses closing down.

Meanwhile, the report said that many businesses will be forced to trade during the 'holiday months' as they cannot afford to close.

Some 65% of business owners said that they would not be taking a holiday while 16% said they would reduce the duration of their time-off.

"We realise that because of the worsening crisis, the continuous decrease in sales and the increase in costs, we will see drastic repercussions this summer," said Dimitris Bibas, a researcher for IME/GSEVEE.

"Business owners will not be able to go on vacation because of personal financial reasons, but also so that they can try to make up for the drop in turnover."

Greece on the Brink

Greece has continually been teetering on the brink of collapse since the onset of the sovereign debt crisis in 2010.

It has so far secured €240bn (£207bn, $314bn) in bailout cash from its international lenders but in return it has had to axe thousands of public sector jobs, cut public spending and ramp up taxes to meet its rescue package conditions.

According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the retail industry continues to suffer as the benchmark trade index fell 5.7% in the first quarter of this year.

Unemployment rates are the highest in Europe and over 60% of the country's youth are jobless.

Elsewhere, Greece's two-party coalition scraped through a vote in parliament to axe or transfer 25,000 public sector workers amid mass protests against austerity measures.

Out of 293 lawmakers present, 153 voted just after midnight to sack thousands more public sector workers.