Athens.- Greece will try to legally battle a European Commission decision calling for a return of funds given to regional businesses from 1993 to 2005 as being given by the state illegally, said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras at a dinner of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SVVE) on Friday.
The Minister said that it is a historic responsibility of the current government and of the productive forces of the country to rise to the occasion and to found together a new economic model, based on competitiveness, extroversion and healthy entrepreneurship.
“We have covered more that 2/3 of the distance regarding the fiscal adjustment and over 3/4 regarding the competitiveness” he said adding that the fiscal course of the country is satisfactory and “allows us to be moderately optimistic’.
Among other issues, Stournaras said the government was trying to find ways to reduce the VAT in certain kinds of goods or the coefficients in property transfers, to help the construction sector, which would contribute to the overall economy.
The privatisation of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and the normalisation of fiscal deficits in the energy market would allow energy cost to drop, helping manufacturers.
The finance minister also said that the state would pay off all obligations to third parties – around 8.7 billion euros – by the end of 2013, affecting the GDP by 1 pct.
As for deposits, he said that from June 2012 to March 2013, 22 billion euros worth of deposits returned to the Greek banking system and the trend would continue, despite the developments on Cyprus.
Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis speaking on Saturday at the annual general assembly of Thessaly industrialists in the city of Volos said that “Greece is leaving behind the ominous estimations and the negative evaluations and attempts the economic stability, the exit from the crisis and the recovery. Greece can hope again. Optimism exists and for the first time after a long period exists the certainty that we can make it”
Kouvelis who was the main speaker of the event, added that Greece has avoided bankruptcy and already the first positive estimations for the country’s course have been recorded and figures indicate a reversal of the course.
He expressed the opinion that the economic, social and political stability, the spirit for reforms and the political volition for changes, the national adjustment programme and the boosting of the country and the economy’s restructure along with the changes in the European policy against the crisis to be the mandatory prerequisites for growth.
Moreover, DIMAR leader noted that the whole political system must rise to the occasion in order the country to exit from the crisis.
According to Kouvelis, Greece’s new growth model should be based on extroversion, increase in productivity in the public and private sector, on research and innovation, on the new education system, on the creation of new job positions.