Banks have to play their role and support the funding of Greek export enterprises, urged Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. He spoke about the importance of export practices at a forum convened by the Greek Exporters Union. "Exports are the future of the Greek economy," said Papademos and stressed that financial institutions should no longer refuse to fund these activities despite the crisis. This was the message of the Prime Minister, who must hand over the baton to the next government in a few days time. "Greece has not taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the euro to improve its competitiveness. The deficit between consumption and production has led to increases in the debt, 70% of which has been served in recent years through new lending." Papademos stressed that balanced and sustainable economic growth can be achieved only in a stable environment that can be provided by the single European currency.
Papademos explained that European scepticism will not help the country to recover. He underlined that strong domestic consumption and dynamic export activity are necessary to achieve a healthy growth. He did not deny that the condition for increasing exports of goods is the improvement of the economic climate in Europe. Until that happens, however, Greece must continue the reforms. They will make it more competitive and the goods - more demanded. Bureaucracy should be drastically reduced because exports begin from the local market to reach the foreign customers, and funding for export companies should be increased. The Prime Minister is adamant that if the financial recovery programme is completed as planned, Greece will return to economic development as early as the second quarter of 2013. "Although we have recorded an increase in exports in recent years, its revenue remained relatively low. Therefore, Greece should turn to the production and export of goods with higher added value."
"The national export strategy is so important that even ten days before the parliamentary elections in Greece, we have organized this meeting to show that we do not have to waste a minute to realize the export model of economic growth in practice," said Diamantapoulou. She explained that the procedures for export enterprises still need to be reduced and that it is necessary to resolve the issues with VAT, which the state refunds with delay. Diamantapoulou noted that institutions should begin to cooperate to facilitate entrepreneurs in their activities related to the external markets.
Greece should adopt the model of consumption that is equal to production, said Dimitris Lakasas, chairman of the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece. "In 2011, the export activity was miraculous," said Lakasas. He stressed that despite the poor economic conditions, Greek exports jumped last year by 35%, including petroleum products. Without them, it was 9.5%, which is the average growth of export activity for Europe. Greece has been in recession for five years now and society is still standing, stressed the exporter. "If this had happened in another country, the government would already have been faced with public disorder as soon as the third year," Lakasas said emphasizing the Greeks’ endurance.