ECONOMY

Transition needs speed, flexibility

Greece needs to push ahead with the second wave of restructuring, vital in ensuring that companies can make the transition to the technology-based new economy, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday. Addressing a PASOK conference last night, he said that speed and determination are two of the important elements that will promote the next round of restructuring changes. Following the completion of the first restructuring wave which consisted essentially of opening up markets and denationalizing state-owned companies, it is time now for Greece to proceed to the next stage, which will focus on the new economy, the minister said. Flexibility among companies and in the markets, simplified administrative procedures, strengthened entrepreneurship and the creation of a more pliant framework are critical attributes for the transition to the new economy, Papantoniou said. Countries which have implemented the changes have successfully made the transition and by extension have seen an improvement in their economy, he pointed out. The minister also reaffirmed the government’s intention of lowering the tax burden on companies, continuing a process which started this year. Cutting taxes will improve income distribution and at the same time help businesses compete on the global stage. One of the principal pillars of government policy in the coming years will be its focus on social government. In the rush to create a strong and powerful economy, certain sectors of society have been left out and it is therefore time to make sure that these groups are able to enjoy the fruits of prosperity, Papantoniou said.