Greece’s economy has great growth potential but more reforms, new infrastructure and strong political will are necessary, Nobel prize winner Sir Christopher Pissarides said on Tuesday at the first meeting of the Economic Policy Council, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The British-Cypriot professor, who shared the 2010 Nobel economics prize with two other recipients, has specialized in the economics of unemployment, growth policies and structural reform.
Mitsotakis has picked Pissarides to chair this committee tasked with drafting a long-term growth strategy for the country which emerged from its third international bailout in 2018 after a decade-long debt crisis.
Pissarides told Mitsotakis that he took on the task because “Greece has suffered more than it should in the past 10 years”. The plan, he said, will be ready in September.
He said Greece had big growth potential in energy and environment, tourism, food and agriculture, manufacturing, transport and logistics, innovation, education and culture.
“There are certainly good prospects for growth, but work towards reforms and new infrastructure is needed. Political will is needed and it is there,” he said.
Mitsotakis said that an economic strategy which corresponds to the necessity to protect the environment could help heal Greece’s economic woes: high public debt, low productivity and low investment funding.
“These are long-term challenges that will be dealt with, not issues that a magic wand can solve,” Mitsotakis said.