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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-09-03

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM's speech at TIF 2000

  • [01] PM's speech at TIF 2000

    03/09/2000 13:04:28

    We are building a strong Greece, a country of economic progress, competitive businesses and social fraternity, having ensured funds for the biggest investment programme in the history of modern Greece, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Saturday.

    In his annual economic policy speech at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Mr. Simitis said that the plan was based on promoting a social state, equal growth, boosting employment, improving the quality of life, prosperity for all, social cohesion and justice.

    "Last June, EU leaders approved Greece's participation in Economic and Monetary Union. With this decision they acknowledged Greece's credibility and its capability to move along towards economic union. Greece has earned its position inside one of the biggest poles in the world economy," the premier told a dinner. "With our EMU entry, we promote our national interests, we gain a stronger voice to defending and promoting our policies. In a rapidly transforming Europe, Greece takes part in the first gear and has a position in any advanced future formation of these countries, from a simple coordination of economic policies to the building of a federal Europe," Mr. Simitis said.

    He reiterated that Greece entered EMU on its own merits.

    The premier said that the government's answer to a dilemma: stabilisation or growth, was stabilisation and growth. "Our economy is growing at a faster rate compared with the EU's average paving the way for a real convergence of living standards between Greece and the European core. We succeeded in this double task because we ignored political costs. Because we convinced our social partners for the credibility of our policy," he said.

    Simitis said that following Greece's entry in EMU, the government faced the challenge to offer Greek citizens the chance to enjoy "the fruits of their efforts in the last few years. And to close the distance with our European partners in the critical sectors of public life, institutions, social organisation and welfare."

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