ECONOMY

‘Reforms are in our DNA’

reforms-are-in-our-dna

Investment incentives, the reduction of labor costs through tax and social security contribution cuts, incentives against undeclared labor, and encouraging Greek enterprises to grow are the government’s objectives for the transformation of the economy, according to the prime minister’s chief economic adviser Alexis Patelis.

The government intends to fund these interventions partly through the emergency recovery fund of the European Union, from which Athens anticipates some 32 billion euros. “We shall see how we can use some of the resources from Next Generation EU to transform the economy,” Patelis told an online conference on Wednesday organized by the European Commission and the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).

Patelis also referred to three other priorities of the government plan that Athens will submit to the Commission by October 15, so as to collect the resources promised. They concern green development, the digital transition and the support of employment and social cohesion. “Reforms are in our DNA,” added Patelis.

The next great challenge for Greece is the full absorption of the EU funds, agreed European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and the deputy director-general of the Commission’s economy and finance department, Declan Costello.

Speaking at the event, Gentiloni referred to the economic sectors where Greece could utilize the EU package: improving its tax system organization, speeding up justice, improving energy sector efficiency, public administration, and the promotion of active policies for employment. Costello stressed the need for the strengthening of exports and increasing investments so as to cover the investment gap and improve the country’s competitiveness.

Gentiloni went on to clarify that the recovery fund will not introduce any additional surveillance for countries: “We will try to maximize synergies with the post-bailout surveillance, so as to avoid an additional burden,” stated the Italian commissioner.