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Economic development will come when politicians denationalize the economy, say industrialists

20 December 2011 / 19:12:30  GRReporter
2505 reads

Victoria Mindova

There will be no development while we are waiting for the state to pour money into companies, to initiate investments and return the positive economic rate. This is the clear opinion of the president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises Dimitris Daskalopoulos. He spoke at the forum "From crisis to economic and social development" organized by the Greek socio-economic commission. It consists of the chairmen of the largest public organizations and trade unions, which express the views of the majority of the active part of citizens in the country.

Daskalopoulos said that despite the slipping of the government on the road towards economic recovery, there are profitable enterprises in Greece that respect and obey the laws, pay their taxes regularly and provide jobs. However, they cannot take the economic growth on their shoulders, because the notion that the initiative must first come rom the public sector and then, the private sector would follow the set trends is rooted deep in the mentality of the Greek businessman and entrepreneur. "The great wall along the road of economic development and prosperity is the dominant notion in our culture that development is a priority of the public sector rather than of private enterprise. According to this, the leader in growth is the state. The role of private entrepreneurs is complementary, if not parasitic."

The industrialist severely criticized the understanding of economic prosperity created in the past decade. "We decided to serve our luxury needs, but ignored our basic values. We have exchanged business ethics for lifestyle. We have confused investment with plunder." He did not fail to note that even today, when Greece has one foot in the abyss, some continue to look back and say that development will come, if fresh money is poured in the market. Of course, not from direct investment from industrial activity, but money from new loans, new European packages, new budgetary costs.

In the middle of the year, industrialists submitted to the government of George Papandreou a study of the problems in the Greek economy and a list of 200 indispensable reforms that would significantly improve public sector operations and eliminate administrative burdens to real business. The government has implemented only 7% of the proposals on the list although the promise was that the study by the international agency McKinsey would become almost a road map for development.

Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos spoke at the forum too. Indirectly, he explained that Greece could go along the road of economic recovery only after having completed the process of exchange of Greek government bonds with new ones with lower face value and after having signed the contract for the second bailout of 130 billion. Only then, the privatization process could be triggered, which is also expected to accumulate tens of billions and to attract fresh investment. Venizelos once again stressed that Greece should remain in the eurozone, and the operations and functions in the eurozone should be reformed. The return of the national currency would be disastrous for the quality of life, the value of property in the country and it would throw Greece three decades back.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPrivatizationEconomyCrisisDaskalopoulosVenizelos
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