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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-29

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Greece entering a new era', Karamanlis writes in 'Economist' special edition

  • [01] 'Greece entering a new era', Karamanlis writes in 'Economist' special edition

    Greece is entering a new era of tangible, measurable results, in which Greeks demand changes and support reforms, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis wrote in an article appearing in a special edition published by "The Economist" entitled "Greece in 2007". This was on newsstands on Friday alongside the 21st edition of the The Economists annual compilation of forecasts, "The World in 2007".

    "In 2007 we will steadfastly follow the same course and complete all important reforms, while preparing many more," Karamanlis underlined.

    The prime minister stressed that 2007 will be the year "to reinforce the momentum leading to the reform of the economy" but also "an upgrading of the social state".

    He also noted that people are today aware that the path followed by the country leads to a better future, and that Greece is gradually getting rid of the burdens and inflexibility of the past.

    "The citizens, with every passing day, can with ever increasing certainty calculate whether the decision they took two and a half years ago is being vindicated," he said.

    Pointing to improvements in economic figures achieved by his government, such as a reduction in the public deficit, increasing exports and rising tourist arrivals, Karamanlis noted that the benefits of his government's economic policy were gradually spreading to all Greek society by boosting employment and gradually reducing unemployment.

    "This are incontrovertible proof that the changes and reforms we are carrying out, planning and promoting are not for the few but for all society," he added.

    The prime minister stressed that 2007 would be the year when the government would begin to fulfil pledges to upgrade the social state, starting with those who were economically weakest by significantly increasing the farmers‚ pensions (OGA), the low pension benefit (EKAS), and the minimum unemployment benefit as of January 1 and through tax reforms that relieved 3 million people from having to pay taxes at all.

    The prime minister underlined that new actions will be undertaken in 2007 guaranteeing a new momentum and prospect. A major role in this direction will be played by the new adjustments included in the developmental law benefiting small- and medium-sized businesses and the country‚s regions. He also referred to the drawing up of a complete map on land use, the promotion of major infrastructure projects in the regions, the continuation of the new energy strategy placing Greece on the World Energy Map and the simplification of the necessary procedures for the opening of new businesses.

    Karamanlis also mentioned plans for the revision of Bankruptcy Law, the implementation of an e-governance plan in public administration aimed at limiting red tape and increasing transparency in transactions and the full activation of the new institutional framework on DEKO (public utility companies) putting an end to the uncontrolled spending of public funds while, at the same time, guaranteeing their social role and improving the services provided to the people.

    He also referred to plans for new privatizations, starting with the OTE telecoms and the banking sector as a priority.

    Karamanlis said that, in view of the 2008 elections and looking beyond that, the government was continuing to pursue its strategy through continuous, exhaustive, honest and unbiased dialogue with society and the social partners. Among its objectives were reforming the framework of laws governing state-sector tertiary education and establishing an organised regulatory framework to reinforce the social insurance system.

    He also underlined that the government's efforts enjoyed the backing of the electorate, which knew that the future could not be won with policies that had already been tried and failed.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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