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80% of the essential goods are more expensive in Greece than in other Eurozone countries

01 October 2010 / 09:10:57  GRReporter
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The prices of 100 products of the consumer goods purchased by the Greek households are at least 30 percent higher than the average European prices. This was the statement of the new Minister of Regional Development and Competitiveness Michalis Chrysohoidis at his first official meeting with journalists since he took the new post in early September. The Minister said there was no real explanation for this phenomenon, but he did not deny that one of the possible reasons for the high prices are the numerous restrictions stipulated by the old legal system.
 
Michalis Chrysohoidis said that one of the main tasks of his ministry would be the fight with the speculatively increased prices and stressed that he will take all possible measures to free the Greek economy of cartel-type control. Market economy is the only way for democratic and efficient operation of the market, he said, and supported the idea that prices will be self-regulated on the base of demand and supply after the cancellation of the restrictions imposed by the closed professions.
 
Michalis Chrysohoidis announced his ambitious plan to restore the competitiveness of the Greek goods. The Minister defined the export as the first priority. He stated he will double its volume for four years – from 8 % of GDP today to 16%. To achieve this, the socialist government will not only liberalize the market but will pay particular attention to innovative technologies that provide higher added value to the end product. The minister did not specify a particular sector or production, but claimed that the government interest involves the creation of a new type of designer goods, the name of which will be directly linked with the Mediterranean country. The Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness is ambitious to encourage young entrepreneurs and to strengthen economic turnover in the country. When asked how this will happen, Chrysohoidis replied that a law will be passed by the end of the year that will ensure rapid absorption of money from European funds in compliance with the National Agreement for Stability and Development (EMPA). This will lead to cheaper funding of new projects.  

The Ministry will also address the investment funds of the European Investment Bank, Jessica and Jeremie, through which a new program will start by the end of 2010 – for energy efficiency of old urban buildings. The Greek banks will be involved in the programs through financing regardless of the difficulties they are experiencing during the crisis. It is expected about three to four billion euros to be allocated by 2011. The state share in these projects is expected to reach two billion euros for the same period through the Euro funds.

Tags: EconomyMarketsDevelopmentCompetitiveness
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