Athens Economic Summit Highlights Greece is Turning the Page



Prominent entrepreneurs, diplomats, academics and politicians participated in the 30th annual Greek Economy Summit in Athens. Organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Athens Stock Exchange, the annual summit was held on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

On Tuesday the keynote speech was delivered by main opposition SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras, who stressed that he had achieved his top priority as prime minister — to restore Greece’s credibility in European and international affairs.

He said that this was achieved not only through Greece’s exit from the bailout era, its return to international money markets and the restoration of its economic growth, but also by upgrading the country’s geopolitical role.

He underscored that “the new government has the privilege of setting off from the best possible starting point,” but has “one basic obligation: not to reverse the good course, not to reverse the conditions of equitable growth that we passed on to it.”

Earlier, Nikolaos Bakatselos, the president of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce noted that Greece has indeed withstood the many blows of the economic crisis.

“We have turned the page in the face of bad forecasts and we are ready to turn the country’s potential into positive certainties for the economy and society. This message is highlighted in the theme of this year’s conference: ‘Turning the Odds’,” he said.

“Today Greece, this new Greece, is called upon to re-establish itself in the eyes of the rest of the world with its credible face and to be placed on the map of the world economy as an investment magnet, a generator of opportunity and a place of creativity,” Bakatselos added.

Greek Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras analyzed the key actions aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the economy, referring to the reduction of tax on naturalized persons and the strengthening of workers’ rights.

He also mentioned improvements in family support and social protection, attracting foreign direct investment and capital, restarting sectors of the economy with a significant contribution to the country’s GDP, and enhancing sustainable development.

Hellenic Federation of Enterprises President Theodoros Fessas said that “The key objective has been to restart the development process by reducing over-taxation of labor and business. This, coupled with removing barriers and distortions in business, can lead to a recovery in private investment and increased productivity.”