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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-31

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Considerable reforms already producing results, Premier Karamanlis says

  • [01] Considerable reforms already producing results, Premier Karamanlis says

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing over 500 senior executives of powerful internatiaonal fiscal organisations on Thursday, in the framework of the Institute of International Finance's spring 2007 meeting in Athens, referred to the positive steps taken by the Greek economy over the past three years.

    "Considerable reforms have already been implemented and are already producing tangible results. Our option is to continue in the same direction. What we have achieved until now is only a sample of what will follow in the future," the prime minister said, outlining the achievements of the Greek economy.

    Karamanlis placed emphasis on fiscal stability, "which was attained in a reliable and sustainable way in only 3.5 years, since the deficit was decreased from 7.8 percent in 2004 to 2.6 percent of GDP and pointed to the new goal of achieving balanced budgets by the year 2010."

    "It is, indeed, an extremely important fact that fiscal adjustment was combined with strong development, which remained one of the highest in the eurozone, reaching 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2007. And it is also important that development is based mainly on exports and investments," the prime minister further said.

    Karamanlis also referred to the drop in unemployment below 9 percent, which is the lowest rate to be achieved in the past 12 years and to the increase in exports, which increased over 18 percent in 2006, that is the biggest increase in the past 20 years, as well as to direct foreign investments that exceeded 2 percent of GDP in 2006.

    Focusing on the Greek economy's extroversion, the prime minister said that investments abroad amounted to 3.3 billion euros, with emphasis being placed in southeastern Europe, and stressed the important role played by the Greek fiscal sector.

    "Chronic problems, such as the sector's social security issue, found a viable solution at last. As a result, the sector is expanding considerably today and, in parallel, considerable buyouts and mergers are taking place," he added, while mentioning that Greek bank branches in the wider region exceed 2,300 and form a strong network of services.

    Karamanlis also focused on agreements and infrastructure projects that are being promoted in the energy sector in Greece, with the aim of securing energy adequacy for the future, promoting renewable energy sources and protecting the environment.

    Commenting on issues examined by the meeting, such as the possibility of problems being conveyed from one fiscal market to another, Karamanlis said that "the response to this challenge requires a collective effort, both by national governments and fiscal organisations."

    The IIF currently has over 350 members from over 70 countries and has been operating for 25 years.

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