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Forget the red tape, here's the red carpet says Avramopoulos

Greece is working hard to restore its international reputation and to deliver growth, especially for the younger generation, the country's foreign minister has said.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday in London, where he was on an official visit, Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the Greek economy was “back on track” thanks to a number of painful but necessary structural reforms.

“The Greek people have gone through many sacrifices, but we have started delivering,” Avramopoulos said.

He said the government has made significant steps toward restructuring Greece's dysfunctional public administration, reducing the deficit and curbing bureaucracy thus creating a more hospitable environment for businesses.

“Before it was the red tape, now it is the red carpet,” Avramopoulos told CNN expressing his optimism about the country's recent campaign to attract international investors.

Locked in recession for a sixth consecutive year, Greece is desperate to boost growth and fight unemployment which has almost tripled since the country's debt crisis emerged in 2009. Youth unemployment is around 60 percent.

“Our biggest priority is to deliver growth, especially for the younger generation,” the conservative minister said.

“The crisis gave us a clear image of reality and put us in front of our responsibilities,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday acknowledged that it made "notable failures" in the Greek bailout, underestimating how much the cost-cutting measures it pushed would pinch the country's already faltering economy.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 6, 2013 (10:27)  
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