New York, September 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
In order for Greece to enter a path to sustainable growth, creditors must do their duty for the restoration of public debt sustainability, and under the Agreement “this time is now,” stressed Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaking at Concordia Summit Forum in New York. The PM added that by the end of the year, the specific measures for the impairment of debt must be announced in order to give a clear signal to investors and the markets that “Greece is returning, that the years of the crisis have ended”.
“By the end of 2016 the horizon should be clear. Before 2017, which is an election year for many European countries”, stressed the Prime Minister. Mr Tsipras said that this is a necessary condition in order for Greece to participate in the ECB’s quantitative easing program and return to the markets in 2017.
“This is the responsibility of international creditors. The debt relief will be the curtain of a modern Greek tragedy. And for this reason no one has the right to hesitate or procrastinate”, he said.
The Prime Minister referred to the strenuous efforts and the decisive steps taken by Greece last year to ensure the internal political and economic stability, adding that this year marks the shift of economy to recovery, stressing that “the Grexit is history, growth is ahead”.
Mr Tsipras described the measures taken by the Greek government in development direction, pointing out that the government has created a friendly institutional environment for investments, with 12 years of tax for investments over EUR 40 million.
He added that the government has legislated for a meritocratic and efficient public sector, escaping from past practices, such as customer relationships and bureaucratic apathy.
“Every day we fight against corruption and the oligarchs interests that were connected to the old political system and prevented transparency and competition”, the Prime Minister pointed out.
Mr Tsipras said that visual collaboration to address domestic and global challenges is as valuable as never before, and praised the strategic contribution of Concordia Summit in this direction.
He added that this is especially useful for the European Union, which although itself is the product of historic political cooperation, it has shifted the weight of the solution of transnational crises in national governments, and this at a time when Europe has become the crossroads three global crises: the immigration crisis, security crisis, stretching from North Africa, the Middle East, and the economic crisis.
The Prime Minister noted that the management of the financial and economic crisis of 2008 marked a shift in the logic of nationalization of collective problems.
“The resort to the logic” not in my backyard “, avoiding the necessary reforms to deepen integration in social, economic and financial sectors, is why Europe has not yet recovered from the crisis”, he said adding: ” to put it another way, Europe, following a dogmatic austerity agenda on the initiative of the North European creditor countries, it has failed in what the United States achieved under a democratic government: to stop the crisis”.
“However, in a broader environment of uncertainty, indecision and turmoil, Greece remains an anchor of geopolitical stability. And this is a precondition for European stability”, stressed the Prime Minister, noting the five reasons why the geostrategic value of Greece is indisputable:
– It plays a stabilizing role in the Western Balkan region.
– It serves a central role for Europe as a country at the forefront of the management of migration and refugee flows, as a country located in the most sensitive EU external borders.
– It is being converting into a crucial energy, transport and trade hub, at a time when new gas routes are being developed, as well as rail and sea connections in the region.
– It attempts a multidimensional, proactive foreign policy, promoting stability and cooperation in the region and beyond us. It strengthens its relations with traditional allies and friends, while developing relations with emerging economies.
– It is a stability pillar and a reliable interlocutor in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region, where the security situation is getting worse.
“This (the pillar of stability and reliability) is due to the fact that we have developed relations with countries of the region on a bilateral, trilateral – including Cyprus – and multilateral level”, concluded the Prime Minister in his speech.