Microsoft has announced that it will build data centers in Greece, a move that will assist the country's economy, which has been weakened by a decade-long debt crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. The investment in cloud services infrastructure, which is the biggest by the Redmond firm in its 28 years of operations in Greece, was announced by Brad Smith, President at Microsoft, at a deal presentation in Athens. Smith said that the decision "shows confidence in the Greek economy, the Greek people, and the government.”
While the exact size of the investment was not made public, analysts estimate that it will have an economic benefit worth roughly $1 billion, according to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He added that the new data centers “automatically upgrade the country as an investment destination,” and speak to investors' confidence in the country's potential.
Smith announced that Microsoft will also start a digital-skills training program for some 100,000 jobs created by the initiative. The investment was first discussed earlier this year during a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. With the agreement formally announced, Greece will become the first country in southeastern Europe to host Microsoft data centers.