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Addressing the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce’s 26th annual Greek Economy Conference in Athens yesterday (1.12), Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras noted that “2016 will be the year that will mark the “exit from the crisis” and “consolidate the long-term political, economic and social stability in our country”.
Promising that in the new year the government will implement its plan for “growth and restoration of social justice which will be directed as a priority to the most disadvantaged social groups”, Tsipras also argued that for the debate on Greek debt restructuring to start, the country must wrap up its programme review which is why the government’s goal is to complete it as soon as possible. This goal is achievable, said the PM, noting that it would be easier if all political parties agreed on these issues.
Speaking at the same conference, Economy Minister George Stathakis argued Greece could exit the crisis next year and the economy will return to positive growth rates sooner than expected, before the end of the first half of 2016. “Greece could become a pole of stability and growth” Stathakis said, adding that a successful completion of the bank recapitalization plan and the first review of the Greek adjustment programme in December, along with a series of planned reforms, will bring stability and prospect back to the economy, allowing the government to present a new growth model by May 2016.
A day earlier (30.11) Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told conference participants that the issue of the Greek state debt will have to be resolved by the end of March, to remove financial uncertainty and enable the government to present its growth plan and its strategy to pass from a vicious circle to a virtuous circle. The minister stressed that that Greek debt sustainability was the key to liberating the economy and restoring confidence among depositors, companies and investors. He also warned creditor countries against “kicking the can down the road” again, because without a clear pathway for Greece the eurozone uncertainty will not disappear, hurting consumer spending and foreign investment.