Greece determined to exit economic crisis stronger, says official

13:56, April 06, 2011      

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The Greek government is determined to continue marathon efforts so that Greece will exit the current economic crisis stronger, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou reassured local and foreign investors Tuesday during a forum held in Athens.

"We have made the first steps in a difficult marathon race, but we can overcome the crisis stronger," stressed Papaconstantinou, addressing the 11th International Venture Capital and Private Equity Forum organized by the Hellenic Venture Capital Association (HVCA) which represents Greek and foreign investors who currently manage over 1.5 billion euros (2.12 billion U.S. dollars).

The aim of the two-day event is to bring together businessmen and investors from Britain and Germany to Cyprus who will examine over 113 business plans and opportunities to invest in Greece and abroad, noted HVCA Chairman Vassilis Takas.

If these ideas will be eventually materialized the forum will contribute to the flow of 500 million euros (708.9 million dollars) and the creation of 3,500 new job positions over the next few years, added Chairman of Invest in Greece Agency Aris Syngros.

Denouncing doom-sayers who insist on scenarios of a Greek default of restructure of debt, Papaconstantinou called on investors to examine opportunities in Greece, stressing that the debt-ridden country will continue efforts for fiscal adjustment and structural reforms.

Greek society has realized that there are no easy solutions to correct past mistakes and supports change of the structures of the state and mentality, argued the Minister, noting that Greece is already on the path of recovery.

The next steps in the context of the Greek economic adjustment and growth program to boost development and manage public property in a better manner will be officially announced in the coming weeks, said Papaconstantinou.

In the meantime a technical team of experts of the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched Tuesday a new round of meetings with Greek state officials, including Papaconstantinou, ahead of the release of the fifth trance of EU-IMF aid to Athens.

Greece escaped default last year securing a multi-billion euro EU-IMF aid package, pledging drastic austerity measures and reforms. EU-IMF officials examine the progress made each time before the release of the next tranche of aid.

On the agenda of discussions between foreign inspectors and Greek state officials this time are the next measures to be taken so that Greece will raise revenues over 20 billion euros (28.35 billion dollars) over the next four years to slash the budget deficit to less than three percent of GDP by 2014 and return to growth.

Source: Xinhua
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