Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras did his best to sell a positive vision of Greece during his address to the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
Tsipras highlighted the facts that the Greek economy is showing a trend of growth exceeding 2%, and is accelerating, and as such feels more optimistic and vindicated.
“Today we feel we were proven right, more optimistic, but also more determined to continue the hard work awaiting us,” he said, adding that “it’s not just the financial indicators that confirm the beginning of the post-memoranda era, it’s the social indicators as well.”
“Greek debt is now sustainable, guaranteed and on a trajectory of steady depreciation,” adding that his government “implemented over 450 reform actions in the economy.”
“Greece is now a new economy, and this is not an exaggeration,” he said, “and this has not been put across as well as it should have.”
The prime minister said the proof included the following accomplishments:
- the independence of tax services
- the overhaul of the insurance system
- the introduction of electronic transactions
- the opening of markets
- the simplification and speediness of licence-granting
- the general creation of an investment-friendly environment
- the transparency in public procurements and contracts and
- the restoration of legality and rights in the labor market.
“Today, nearly 3.5 months after the end of the memoranda, the government is moving on its own plan, a plan that includes many,” Tsipras said. He said that “international organisations, analysts and European institutions recognise the quality work completed during the past 3.5 years.”
The premier said that there was a great effort to introduce efforts that would restore the sweeping repercussions of the recession, which led a great segment of the population to the margins and to poverty.
These measures he said included the following, briefly:
- protection of the main home from foreclosure
- extension of solidarity bonuses to more people
- tax payment facilitation
- a health system open to all
- more funds allocated to research
- school meals
- free nursery schools
As for the economy, Tsipras said, the data was encouraging, as the following indicated:
- investments and exports are rising
- unemployment is falling; today it’s 18.9%, 8 percentage points below the maximum of 27% level of four years ago
- Greek debt is now sustainable, guaranteed and on a trajectory of steady depreciation and
- over 450 reforms implemented in the economy.