23 September, 2005
Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, addressing the conference organized in “Cosmos Club” on Friday by the European Institute in Washington D.C, said that "Greece is responding very satisfactorily to reform initiatives."
Alogoskoufis stressed that "the Greek economy is responding very satisfactorily to our reform initiatives. Despite the high prices of oil, the economy's rate of growth remains one of the highest in Europe and is expected to reach 3.6 percent this year."
The finance minister appeared before the American audience as a staunch defender of reforms and of the gradual adoption of harmonized fiscal policies between eurozone member-states, stressing that the lack of an autonomous monetary policy leaves national governments with only two other options: to regulate fiscal policy and to promote structural reforms.
Alogoskoufis added that in this framework "it is clear, therefore, why many governments are seeking a more aggressive monetary policy."
Placing responsibility for delays on previous governments, Alogoskoufis highlighted the responsible position of citizens.
“Greece has emerged from an era of heavy state regulation. The State was practically omnipresent, and this made our task much more difficult. Careful maneuvering was required in order to ensure maximum possible consensus.
Currently, the Greek people are in favor of our reform agenda. They have realized the benefits and they have recognized that for the economy to catch up to the productivity and income levels of the E.U., well targeted reforms are essential”, he said.
During his stay here, the finance minister had a series of contacts with senators, as well as with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His main aim was to underline the possibilities of the Greek economy and the advantages which emanate from its geopolitical position.
Source: Athens News Agency