The imposition of a high fee on Russian natural gas transported from Bulgaria is a clearly illegal move that opposes the fundamental principles of the European community, stressed the president and CEO of Mytilineos Group, Evangelos Mytileneos during his intervention at the “Greece After VII” conference organized by the Circle of Ideas in collaboration with the Delphi Economic Forum.
Evangelos Mytileneos expressed his optimism for the Greek economy, and made it clear that the group is not going to leave Greece, regardless of the possibility of a parallel listing on a foreign stock exchange. “We live here, we produce here, we pay our taxes here. The fact that we are spreading our wings and carrying the Greek flag internationally does not mean that we are leaving Greece or ceasing to be a Greek group”, he stressed.
Alongside, also sent a message for the implementation of important reforms. “I am optimistic for the coming years, we have unique political stability, a prime minister who absolutely controls the state, the government and his party and has the ability to take any political cost and make the necessary reforms. If we don’t do it now, I don’t know when we will have the chance,” said Mr. Mytileneos, noting that it is a common finding that painful reforms must be made in the first 12 to 18 months of a government. “In the second two years, things get more difficult and opinion polls become more important and not the exercise of politics”, he emphasized.
“There is no precedent a country of the European community to decide on its own to impose tariffs. This is a prerogative of the European Union, the countries of Europe cannot practice an international customs policy”, underlined Mr. Mytilineos, noting that this unilateral decision by Bulgaria also shows the lack of a common European economic and energy policy that allows everyone to do whatever suits him.
According to Mr. Mytilineos, Bulgaria wants to collect revenue in this way to cover the country’s deficit. “They hope to collect about 1.6 billion euros, as long as there is someone to pay. There aren’t many willing,” he added meaningfully.
Europe is taking steps backwards
Speaking particularly about the lack of economic policy, the head of the Mytilineos group, underlined that Europe instead of taking steps forward is taking steps back. The European Union “has raised the flag of the green transition but Germany is reopening the coal plants” because the model with which it was developed in the previous decades no longer works.
“Unfortunately Europe and especially Germany have been spoiled to live and prosper with a combination of cheap Russian energy sources and free security from the other side of the Atlantic. This ends now”, noted Mr. Mytileneos. “The German model is collapsing, it was set up in a way that is not valid,” he stressed.
He noted that it is very interesting to observe the fact how far behind Europe is and how America can withstand the crisis and it shows at all levels, from employment, inflation, economic activity and GDP. And this despite the fact that the USA is shaken at a political level by the internal structure that exists in society and will be seen again in the upcoming elections.
“Although America will see this figure in all its glory, the economy is holding up and the US is and will be a world leader for many years. It has the vigor of the new economy, it has the ambition, the American dream has not died yet”, emphasized Mr. Mytileneos.
The inflation target and geopolitical developments
Speaking about interest rates and inflation, Mr. Mytilineos noted that the European Central Bank’s 2% inflation target is a noose around the neck of the living generations. “Many problems in Europe would be solved very quickly if this 2% became 3%, if the monetary policy relaxed a little”, he stressed.
Regarding the developments in the region, Mr. Mytilineos noted that the markets believe that the Russia-Ukraine war will remain stagnant for quite some time and there will be no significant developments at least until the winter. On the other hand, in the Middle East the most likely scenario is that there will be no further escalation. “Markets hope that the situation will de-escalate in the coming weeks.