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The Greek insurance market is stagnant

12 November 2013 / 21:11:39  GRReporter
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Margarita Andonaki pointed out that the European Solvency II Directive is the appropriate instrument for the insurance companies to achieve the necessary reliability after the collapse and the withdrawal of the licences of some of them. "If the conditions set out therein are implemented correctly, the probability of failure is very small. The Directive will also improve the functioning and management of companies, especially with regard to supervision and transparency."

For his part, Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis expressed the desire of the Ministry to collaborate with private insurance companies. The first step of the cooperation is the making of medical records by each of the two parties involved in order to reduce the cost of services. The second and more important level is associated with the cooperation of private insurance companies with public hospitals. "We want to move from theory to practice. We want to create a package of services that will be beneficial for the clients of insurance companies, for the insurance companies themselves and for the finances of the public hospitals."

In conclusion, the Minister said that, bearing in mind the present poor state of the public health insurance fund, EOPII, his department does not perceive the private insurance companies as competitors. "They can supplement them as EOPII will cover the basic needs of the system and the companies will operate in addition to those services."

Giannis Stathakis, a deputy from the opposition SYRIZA party and professor of economics at the University of Crete, admitted that the Greek insurance system is in serious condition. However, he stressed that when his party "forms a government" it would stand firmly behind the public system and would improve it. "From this point onwards, private insurance has a huge potential for development. However, we will make all changes and reforms so as to retain the redistributive nature of the system and we will not move to the capital system," he said.

According to professor at the University of Piraeus Miltiadis Nektarios, despite the opposite statements, the Greeks are interested in private insurance like all other Europeans. "In this new economic and social model the centre of insurance is shifting from the public to the private sector. Therefore, in the coming years, programmes for private insurance should be drawn up that will be ancillary to the public systems. There are many examples of such mixed systems whose experience we can use."

Miltiadis Nektarios also stressed that private insurance companies should be cared for as banks. "We must not allow the closure of a company because this will negatively affect citizens' trust in those companies. We must carry out restructuring, mergers and everything else after the example of the banks."

The forum was organized by the Financial Times media group under the auspices of the Association of Greek Insurance Companies, in cooperation with The Banker magazine and Boussias Communications.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPrivate insurance companiesInsurance
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