Samaras sees unemployment easing and economy improving

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday expressed his satisfaction regarding the course of the country’s economy during a meeting with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, Development Costis Hatzidakis and Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis at the Maximos Mansion.

The premier noted that based on data compiled by the Labor Ministry, hirings had exceeded layoffs during the months of March and April. He argued this was not due to seasonal factors, as the tourist season has yet to begin, but was an initial indication that the pace in the increase of the unemployment rate was beginning to slow down. “An indication that will be verified within the next few months,” he said.

Samaras referred to a recent study carried out at 1,085 companies whose revenues exceeded 1 million euros. The study found that one in two companies were planning or considering investing sometime this year, with more than half of the investment plans involving the hiring of new staff.

The Prime Minister further noted that some 2.9 billion euros were to be disbursed for the support of the unemployed and for training programs. According to Samaras, over 700,000 Greeks could benefit from the schemes.

Citing the bank recapitalization process and new investments, Samaras noted that mood was changing in Greece, along with the country’s image.

“Society will very soon start feeling the difference, and hope, which is already gaining ground, will once again prevail,” he said.