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Arabs want to invest in Greek technologies and production

12 January 2012 / 20:01:07  GRReporter
2581 reads

Victoria Mindova

In a period of complete financial eclipse the United Arab Emirates has expressed a serious interest in investing in troubled Greece. According to the Deputy Prime Minister Thodoros Pangalos, Arab businessmen have said they want to invest in new technologies in Greece and participate in the privatization process, which for the last two years has been like a mirage in the local economy. Pangalos stressed that the Arab countries will not interfere in the management of the companies, from which they will want to acquire shares, but they will require them to remain profitable.

So far, the most attractive products on the Greek privatization shelf seem to be the National Electricity Company (DEI) and the state lottery OPAP. These companies are profitable even in times of crisis and will be of interest to every major investor with serious intentions for business in Greece. Currently there is no accurate information on the companies that have attracted the attention of the Arab countries, but it is known that the official delegation of businessmen showed keen interest also in the hydrocarbon deposits in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete.

In addition, at the meeting a memorandum of cooperation fwas signed for the mutual promotion of tourism in both countries through the exchange of information and promotional materials. Other sectors in which the Arabs want to increase their presence in the Greek market are energy, aviation, banking, environment, maritime transport and innovation. "We are here to reach out to the Greek government. This is our commitment and political will which will strengthen the economic relations between the two countries," said the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Al Nahyan. He was a guest of the Greek-Arab Forum, which was held at the luxurious Lagonissi resort complex near Athens, and defined Greece as a brotherly country.

Privatization in Greece brings a lot of undisguised suspicion, because modern history shows that little can be trusted in transactions concluded at state level. Corruption scandals like the government procurement of Siemens and the cloudy real estate transactions between the government and the Greek monastery Vatopedi, cast a heavy shadow over the upcoming privatization processes, which almost everybody agrees are needed and even inevitable. According to local intellectual elite the question is not whether Greece will get away with it, but whether the country's political system has the leadership potential, to take it out of the swamp.

"Whoever believes that we will not pass through the bottom, is very wrong. The important thing is not to stay there for decades and for it to drag on. We must prepare the soil to be able to push ourselves up from it," commented on the current situation of the country Dimitris Bournatas, management professor at Athens University of Economics. He presented his views on the discussion "Lack of leadership." The professor does not deny that it is important to activate the privatization mechanism, but he is certain that until an assessment, independent of private interests, is established, Greece will not be able to stand on its own two feet. When making important public policy decisions transparency and objectivity are needed, and these two conditions remain unknown among the management of the country.

Bournatas believes that Greece lacks leadership, which is replaced by power in the name of personal gain. According to him the best leader who can take Greece out of the crisis should have three main qualities. "The first is that he should inspire people by presenting a real vision, to win their trust, to mobilize them, to guide them in order to achieve results for the "common good" and thus achieve progress through continuous improvement of the environment." The professor insists that the leader must have strategic thinking and management skills such as planning, organizing, coordinating, monitoring, and the ability to make the right decisions at critical moments. Third in line, but not in importance, he places human values ​​and virtues of the leader such as honesty, fairness, responsibility, humility and humanity. "Such political leaders will not appear if society does not begin to assess politicians according to the above criteria."

Tags: United Arab Emirates Greece investments privatization
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