Eurobank: Stable government with a European perspective a prerequisite for returning to growth

Eurobank: Stable government with a European perspective a prerequisite for returning to growth

Athens, September 17, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

“Greece has the potential to turn the page towards a strong growth path in 2016. A prerequisite for achieving this national goal is to establish a stable government with a European perspective and orientation, so that in the coming months, for the first part, to successfully complete the recapitalization of banks and the first assessment of the agreement with our partners and following that, to remove restrictions on capital movement”.

That is what the president of Eurobank, Nikolaos Karamouzis, stated speaking at a conference organised by the bank with the Board of SETE, continuing the series of meetings of the management with the administrations of important productive institutions of the country.

“It is necessary more than ever to formulate a national plan for development and reforms, prioritising the strong recovery of private investment and economic extroversion, the strengthening of the industry, the upgrading of the agricultural sector and the support of export activities. Furthermore, it is necessary to proceed with developmental reforms in the fiscal framework, public administration, justice and insurance system and to create the conditions for an attractive business environment”, Karamouzis added.

“The new program, as agreed in mid-August 2015 between the Greek Government and the European Stability Mechanism, includes a series of structural measures and reforms”, ​​he said from his part, the CEO of the bank, Fokion Karavias. “The challenge from here is the smooth implementation of the new programme, so as to lay a foundation for both a return to sustainable growth and a more competitive and outward-looking economy. The government that will emerge from Sunday’s election is necessary to take it upon itself to implement the programme”. “By the end of 2015”, Karavias noted, “there should have been completed 96 structural measures. Nineteen of the 96 reforms concern product markets and improving the business environment. Their implementation should have a positive impact on restoring confidence in the Greek economy. In such a case, I expect that foreign investments in Greece, including those in potential capital increases of Greek banks will surprise us positively”.

The Chief Economist Group, Deputy General Director, Plato Monokrousos, presented at the meeting the most important estimates of Eurobank regarding the economic outlook, with emphasis on the contribution of tourism, stressing among other things that “the activity in the tourism sector was not directly affected by the imposition of restrictions on capital movements. The temporary reduction in bookings seem to have been hedged.

According to the World Economic Forum (The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report), in 2015 Greece ranked 31 among 141 countries. The new programme for the Greek economy includes a series of reforms to improve the business environment, the implementation of which can offer an increase of GDP by 10 percentage points. “At the same time, he noted that “there is ample liquidity available through the European Structural Funds and the new rescue program, and there is ground for a substantial increase in exports by strengthening the non-wage competitiveness”.