Greece’s adjustment program will be completed on time and will end a long and painful era for the country and society, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a speech at the 2nd Thessaloniki Summit on Friday.
“The Greek economy is experiencing an extremely positive momentum,” he said. “The program will be completed on time and we’ll put an end to this painful period for Greece.”
Tsipras said that 2017 is the last year when the country is under bailout supervision adding it is also the most crucial year. “The many years of recession, high unemployment and programs have put extreme pressure on Greek society and economy. We now have to show confidence and maximum confidence in our forces,” he said.
“In any case, we have undeniably entered a path of growth and must maintain the sustainability of this trajectory in the future.”
Commenting on the imminent third program review, he said all sides are working to complete it on time because all sides will benefit from doing do.
Referring to major investments in the country, Tsipras said that respect to the Constitution and environmental laws not only it does not discourages investors but encourages healthy entrepreneurship and consolidates the country’s image. He said that he aims for development geared to the creation of new and well-paid jobs.
“It’s the knowledge-intensive and not the labor-intensive model that bring the country on the road of development.”
The prime minister welcomed the work of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, the organizers of the conference, noting that what Athens is to the tertiary sector of the economy, Thessaloniki is for industry and manufacturing.
“Any effort to essentially upgrade your role will be supported,” he said, reminding attendees of the establishment of the prime minister’s office in the city.
Tsipras reiterated his pledge to break with the past habit of favoring towards privileged elites, saying that those who state they are in favour of the free economy in reality imposed protectionism for specific business interests.
“It’s easy to talk of investments but opening the way to promote them is a completely different matter. Look at how many years our national motorways lagged behind. The tunnels at Tembi valley, the metro in Thessaloniki, the energy projects, [the hotel] Asteras in Vouliagmeni, Hellinikon. Look at the effort being made and its results in northern Greece,” he said. “Results come over time, with hard work and clear relations between the State and entrepreneurship.”
Concluding his speech, Tsipras said Greece must utilize its comparative advantages to achieve sustainable development.
“Our country has unlimited abilities that we can utilize. It has a great geopolitical position and is at the heart of global upheavals with strong comparative advantages. I believe that we can achieve our goals and that Greece can have sustained growth, raise the standard of living, reduce unemployment, increase expectations and prosperity,” he said.