‘Work longer,’ Garganas says

Greeks must learn to work more and longer, the central bank governor said yesterday, exhorting the government to carry out bolder social security reforms and take action to attract more foreign investments. «Greeks need to work longer,» Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas told a press conference for the presentation of the bank’s new annual report. He said the social security reforms the government passed last year were not stringent enough, and urged further action to increase the retirement age and place a ceiling on pension payments. Garganas also called for measures to attract more foreign investors, noting that foreign cash inflows fell from 1 percent of Greece’s gross national product in 2001 to effectively zero last year. And he stressed the need to maintain high growth «for the Greek standard of living to converge with the European Union average.»