ECONOMY

Schaeuble: Greece will become competitive in a decade

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday that Greece will become competitive again in a decade, while his colleague Philipp Roesler, minister of economics and technology, invited his country?s industrialists to launch an aggressive investment campaign in Greece.

Schaeuble told German daily Passauer Neue Presse that ?Greece will certainly need a decade to regain its competitiveness,? adding that the rescue packages? conditions are ?tough? and that no country that needs new aid measures will get them ?as a free ticket.?

Roesler called on German investors to bolster the efficiency of the new bailout package that Greece has secured, speaking to the members of at least 20 business associations in his country.

He focused on the opportunities for German groups in sectors such as telecommunications, renewable energy sources and transport, with the stated aim being ?the transformation of the competitiveness? of Greece.

However, German groups are reluctant to invest in Greece, citing the complexity of Greek laws and an increase in corruption. There are on the other hand some voices in Germany which say that any problems should be overcome for the benefit of Greece and the eurozone in general: ?It is crucial to renew the climate of trust between the state and investors in Greece through dialogue,? Stefan Mair, a member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries, stated.

Data from the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry show that there are about 150 German companies operating in Greece, but the majority produce nothing in this country as they are mostly involved in retail. ?That is exactly where the problem lies,? said the chamber?s managing director, Martin Knapp.