Greek PM on Bloomberg: 2021 is a year of strong recovery

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his belief that Greece, after the successful management of the coronavirus pandemic, can achieve an “extremely strong recovery in 2021.”

His comments were made during an international investor audience on a teleconference organised by Bloomberg.

The Greek PM was introduced by company founder and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spoke of his success in managing the coronavirus pandemic in Greece and of the economic reforms and the aid measures that will help Greece overcome the crisis.

At the beginning of the teleconference, Mitsotakis referred to the successful treatment of the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that there has been no significant outbreak since the economy reopened and stressed that the big challenge from now on is to overcome the economic storm, especially in tourism.

“Indeed, the last three months have been a huge challenge for us as well as for any country, and I am delighted that Greece has performed relatively well in dealing with the first phase of the pandemic. As Mr. Bloomberg noted, we took action very early on, listened to the experts we spoke to, and managed to convince our fellow citizens that it was in their best interest to follow the strict rules of social distancing we have put in place.”

“The results were satisfactory, the death toll per million inhabitants is one of the lowest in Europe, and what is more encouraging is that we have not seen a significant increase in cases since we started reopening the economy (…) the next big challenge for us is to overcome the coming financial storm. At present, the first quarter of 2020 was difficult, but not catastrophic, the Greek economy shrank by 0.9% when the average contraction in the eurozone was 3.6%,” he continued.

The next challenge he stated is the way the country welcomes tourists. “We know it will be a very difficult year for tourism, we hope to preserve what we can from a lost, for many, tourist season. However, we have developed very detailed protocols with specific rules regarding how we intend to open the tourism industry and we hope that we will be able to start welcoming visitors from July 1st. We have the relative certainty that there will be no second outbreak during the summer. Obviously, the next challenge is recovery, and I’m sure there will be specific questions about how we intend to deal with that challenge. To close my introductory remarks, I would like to mention that this government was elected a year ago with an ambitious reform plan. In my view, the coronavirus accelerated the need for reform.”

During a conversation with journalist Francine Lacqua, Mitsotakis noted that if all goes well, and vaccine for the virus is released by fall or winter this year, 2021 could prove to be the year of a robust growth for Greece, he said, with many investment opportunities in a stable political environment.

“In Greece, in particular, because we have laid the foundations for rapid growth, I believe that the recovery will be very strong. We have the prospect that the year 2021, which is an important year as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, will be a year of extremely strong development for Greece,” he stressed.

In addition, the PM pointed out that besides vacation, great weather and beautiful sites, Greece provides and trains high-level professionals, a factor that particularly attracts investors to Greece.

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