NEWS

Papandreou appeals to US investors

Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday continued his charm offensive in the United States, assuring entrepreneurs in New York that Greece is pushing through reforms to facilitate investments after receiving praise from US Vice President Joe Biden in Washington for the measures his government has pushed through so far. «The Greek government has proved that it means business. We have delivered on our commitments, exceeded targets and even confounded expectations,» Papandreou told an audience at the Economic Club of New York, a respected forum for entrepreneurs and economists. «In a matter of months we have pushed through the most extensive and ambitious reform program in modern Greek history,» he said before providing details of how procedures are being simplified for investments and the creation of businesses. The premier said there were «many encouraging signs that investors are waking up to the opportunities that the new Greece has to offer,» noting that Norway’s state pension fund had recently invested in Greek government bonds. Late on Tuesday, Papandreou had visited Washington for talks at the White House with Biden, which focused on Greece’s ongoing reform efforts as well as matters of concern in the Balkans and Middle East. The US vice president praised Papandreou for the «excellent work he is doing in the handling of the economic crisis,» noting that, «God willing, he will put his country on the right path again.» The Greek premier responded, «We are already on the right path.» Speaking to reporters after meeting Biden, Papandreou said their talks touched on the Cyprus problem, the situation in the Middle East and the ongoing dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) regarding the latter’s official name. According to sources, the US vice president stressed the need for the governments of Athens and Skopje to quickly agree upon a mutually acceptable solution to the name spat. Papandreou, for his part, stressed that Athens has the political will to resolve the dispute and is waiting for the «other side» to reciprocate.