According to statistics, public debt amounts to 99.6 percent of our domestic product, a figure which is worse than the unacceptable 82.2 percent it had already reached in 1991. Public expenditure is unjustifiably high and the competitiveness of Greek goods and services remains at a low level when compared to those of our EU partners. Consequently, now that the symbol of the country’s irreversible entry into the euro era will come in our hands, we should have faith in our strengths. We should set high goals but not unrealistic ones. We should step out as we step onto the path to a single Europe. And above all, we should stop interpreting everything in conspiratorial terms. It is clearly an advantage to share the same currency with the peoples of the 11 eurozone countries. And it is naive to say that we will be cheated during the replacement of the drachma by the new euro. Nor is it so hard for consumers to note and memorize prices in drachmas and euros. Our attention should rather be focused on something else: to behaving at last, with some respect toward the difficulty with which euros are earned. Putin expressed hope that «there will be a response» from Greek business. «Some Russian companies feel especially comfortable in Europe, have sufficient self-confidence and are ready to take part in the liberalization of markets and the energy sector,» he said.

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