“The growth we have now, where the Commission’s forecast for 2022 is over 4%, would actually be over 6% or close to 7% if we didn’t have these crazy gas prices. So this development did not happen, but it is the result of government policies.”
These were pointed out, among others, by the Deputy Minister of Finance Theodore Skylakakisspeaking today at an information event organized in Pyrgos by the Economic Chamber, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Special Coordination Service of the Recovery Fundfor the opportunities and prospects of “Greece 2.0».
As he then explained, “this growth does not come primarily from domestic consumption, but from exports, tourism and investment, where after the measures we took to change the business environment and incentives, we now have a big wave of investments in our country”.
In fact, as he pointed out, “investments, exports, tourism and confidence, led to a rapid increase in GDPwith which we cover the pain caused by natural gas and international inflation.”
At the same time, Thodoros Skylakakis underlined that “the Greek economy has enormous potential and we have put it on the right path, despite the storm we are living through”. “Consequently”, he added, “we can be optimistic, as long as we are serious, responsible and efficient”, while as he noted, “increasing the efficiency with which the state, the economy and businesses operate, is the key to succeed in the future. This is what we have been doing for these three years and we will continue to do so.” “That’s why”, as he noted, “despite the storms, I am optimistic about the future”.
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Referring to natural gas, the Deputy Minister of Finance said that “Europe is currently facing a hybrid economic war driven by natural gas, the prices of which have been going up and down in the last period of time in an extreme way, that is, they are very high and they rise and fall, I repeat, in an extreme manner.’
As he added, “we are talking about an extreme situation and it is Europe’s responsibility to react to this extreme situation, that is, to this market, which is not working and has become a target of manipulation from the Russian side, but also of the fact that they are extremely rigid, since the offer does not correspond to the prices”.
At the same time, he emphasized that “this problem is no longer just an energy problem, but a macroeconomic and fiscal problem for the whole of Europe”.
Speaking afterwards about the Recovery Fund, Thodoros Skylakakis noted that “we had built it as a development tool and we hoped that we would be in a clear period after the pandemic, where economies would return to growth, but now it is a useful tool to keep the economy and society afloat,” adding:
“What we are experiencing now is a storm, where 10 Beaufort winds are coming from everywhere and constantly changing direction. This is the energy crisis and its intensity. So in this storm, the Recovery Fund is the rope we have to hold on to and that leads us to a safe harbor. In economic terms it means that if we get the Recovery Fund right, we won’t go into recession, even if the rest of Europe goes into recession.”
As he explained, “proper treatment means that we will not put this Fund at the center of the partisan confrontation and extreme fanaticism that we are unfortunately experiencing at this time, but we will deal with it with seriousness and moderation and above all we will be efficient in the way we do the reforms”.
For his part, the president of the Economic Chamber, Konstantinos Kollias, said, among other things, in his greeting that “the chamber declares itself “present” as a valuable helper of the State and in this effort, as in everything else that concerns the daily life of a business, that’s why with specific interventions, studies and initiatives we support our members and by extension we support small and medium entrepreneurship”.
He also said that “the Greek economy, despite the adverse conditions, has shown remarkable resilience, as a result of targeted timely and effective policies aimed at protecting households, jobs and businesses”.