ECONOMY

Measures for small firms will not harm the economy

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the European Council in Brussels yesterday while insisting that the measures Greece is taking to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will not derail its fiscal policy. «Our general principle is to assist those in need, to maintain our growth momentum and to protect jobs and real incomes,» said Karamanlis referring to the European Union blueprint approved by the heads of states and governments in the Belgian capital. He added that the Council decided the measures that each member will take to stabilize its economy must be in the same direction and coordinated, without being against growth or delaying reforms. Karamanlis reiterated that the Greek economy is more resilient than its European peers and that the government acted immediately, which is why its project to bolster the economy was among the first to be approved by Brussels. He also stressed that its interventions aimed at tackling the crisis will continue primarily toward strengthening SMEs. Although the focus is not on short-term interventions but on continuing structural reforms based on an organized plan. Greece is meeting and will meet its funding needs, Karamanlis stated, noting that one of the local economy’s liabilities is the high public debt resulting from irresponsible policies over the past 30 years. In conditions of pressure on cash flow in the international credit system, he said, it is to be expected that interest rates will expand the public debt. «By being prudent and steering clear of demagogy, easy promises and irresponsible words, we shall take the Greek economy in the direction it must go,» said the prime minister.