Thursday August 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Aid bagged, PM shifts focus to growth

 Samaras heralds initiative to boost investment, jobs after impromptu talks with EU commissioner Almunia

With evident relief at having secured the approval of international creditors for some 50 billion euros in rescue funding, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday heralded an initiative to boost much-needed growth in Greece’s moribund economy following impromptu talks in Brussels with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the European Council summit in the Belgian capital after Samaras invited Hatzidakis to join him and the commissioner for talks on Greece’s ambitious privatization program and its plans to increase use of EU structural funding. Addressing reporters after the talks, Samaras said he would invite representatives of all multinational companies doing business in Greece for talks at the Maximos Mansion on Monday in a bid to convince them to increase their presence in the country and help boost employment.

Samaras stressed the importance of “removing the stigma from doing business,” saying that otherwise “there will be no growth and instead of surging forward we will be dragged back to the point of no return.”

Though visibly relieved at the press conference, the premier emphasized the pressure that Greece is under to implement reforms that it has pledged to creditors, including a new tax bill that is not expected to be voted on in Parliament until January. “The day after has already begun, there is not a minute to relax,” he said, adding that

“we may have completed one marathon successfully but we must now start the next one.”

Representatives of Greece’s so-called troika of foreign creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – are expected to be particularly strict in inspections over the coming weeks and months and the government is keen not to let them down and put further rescue loans in jeopardy.

But sources told Kathimerini that Samaras and his advisers are also concerned about the social impact of a new raft of austerity measures and are keen to strike a balance between imposing the reforms demanded by creditors and ensuring that Greeks can justifiably feel some optimism at the country’s prospects for emerging from a protracted period of austerity. The disbursement of rescue loans, expected as early next week, will make a palpable difference, the premier said. “I believe the release of the installment will influence the lives of all of us,” he said. “It will reverse the decline, it will change the psychology.”

Sources told Kathimerini that Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras were very warmly received in Brussels by their EU counterparts, in contrast to previous visits, when the Greek delegation had faced a cool reception from skeptical peers.

Samaras expressed optimism that a decision by EU leaders to work toward forming a banking union could help Greece reduce its debt by another 50 billion euros in the future. He indicated that the creation of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM) for European banks would bring Greece a step closer to passing the cost of recapitalizing its lenders to the recently created European Stability Mechanism and not recording it as national debt. “If this happens, this would allow banks to be recapitalized directly from the ESM, which means it won’t burden the taxpayer,” Samaras said. “Greece is very interested in this as it would mean our 50 billion euros in recapitalization costs would not be recorded as national debt,” he added.

Returning to domestic issues, the prime minister insisted that his government would not back down in its efforts to tackle unfair privileges in the public sector. When questioned about comments by the head of the municipal workers’ union, Themis Balasopoulos, with regard to angry local authority workers “terrorizing” the government, Samaras replied, “We will terrorize the terrorists.”

ekathimerini.com , Friday December 14, 2012 (21:00)  
Second man held over double murder in Mani
Botched steroid deal led to Mani murders
Public works near completion, minister says
Air-traffic controllers voice stress concerns
Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
Eurozone private business growth slowed more than expected this month, despite widespread price cutting, as manufacturing and service industry activity both dwindled, a survey showed on Thur...
Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged euro-area leaders to coordinate more closely on economic policy and repair the “construction flaws” built into the 18- member currency union to overcome...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Self-destructing political system
It finally seemed as if we had found some peace of mind. The vast majority of Greek MPs chose to abstain from festivities on August 15, also known as Assumption Day, thus sparing us from the...
EDITORIAL
Welcome movement
Many have spoken about the need to spur economic growth in this debt-wracked country, but very few officials seem to actually be doing anything meaningful to make this happen. Recent weeks h...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
2. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
3. Second man held over double murder in Mani
4. Botched steroid deal led to Mani murders
5. Greek stocks post rise of 0.99 percent
6. Banks reject stress test concerns
more news
Today
This Week
1. Second man held over double murder in Mani
2. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
3. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
4. Greek current account surplus widens in June
5. Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
6. Logged out of reality
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
3. Treating Amphipolis with care
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Greece’s recession eases as country nears end to six-year slump
6. Ministry sys ‘no’ to debt collection agencies
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.