ECONOMY

Samaras: Greece’s economic stabilization program finally producing tangible results

Greece’s economic stabilization in the areas of fiscal adjustment and structural reform are finally producing tangible results, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Thursday while pledging closer financial cooperation with US.

“We are going to have a primary surplus for the first time in many years, a current account surplus and a foreign trade balance for the first time in decades,” Samaras said during a joint press conference with visiting US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

“These are tangible results and these tangible results, along with the anticipation of Greece entering a period of recovery after six years of a very painful recession offer major investment opportunities in our country,” Samaras said.

During a meeting on Thursday, the two sides agreed to work closely on a number of issues ranging from American investment in Greece to the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which will be negotiated during Greece’s EU Presidency starting January 1st.

Speaking to the press, Pritzker stressed the importance of commercial and economic ties between Athens and Washington voicing her confidence that the two transatlantic allies will do even more business in the future.

“President [Barack] Obama and I know that the Prime Minister [Antonis Samaras] has made — and will continue to make — bold and difficult decisions to keep Greece on the path of fiscal and structural reform, all in an effort to promote growth and overall economic prosperity,” Pritzker said.

“This road has been challenging, but progress has been made. Going forward, Greece must not look solely to budget cuts and fiscal tightening, but also to steps that promote growth, jobs, trade, and investment, which will benefit all the citizens of Greece,” she said.

Pritzker said US companies doing business in Greece could play a role in boosting economic growth in the recession-hit country.

“As you move to make the Greek economy more open and competitive, we want to see the presence of American firms here become stronger.”