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11 December, 2001
The government plans to speed up privatization and structural reform of the economy in 2002 through four bills that aim to boost growth, National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Monday.
"Greece has major opportunities, but time is not its ally," Christodoulakis told a conference in Athens arranged by the Hellenic-American Chamber.
"Only an acceleration of growth initiatives can enable the country to win the struggle at the right time, and promote real convergence with the most advanced economies of the European Union," the minister said.
The first bill, destined for parliament by the end of this year, is to provide incentives for the creation of robust enterprises.
"On their part, companies have to respond directly, to move towards alliances, cooperation and mergers with their European equivalents. We now have to look at the European market," Christodoulakis said.
The second bill, which is to reach parliament by February, aims to attract investment from abroad.
The third bill will round off the government's phased overhaul of the taxation system. It is due in parliament at the end of the first half of 2002.
"Tax reform will be completed within 2002. It is centered on greater simplification of the taxation system, strengthening of the economy's growth aspect and a fairer distribution of the tax burden," the minister said.
The fourth bill will help to support returns on investment and allow for greater involvement by banks in the evaluation of investments that require funding. The bill is due for parliament at the end of the first half of next year.
Source: Athens News Agency