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09 May, 2001
Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Tuesday securing stable surpluses in coming budgets is a major issue to enable the public debt to decrease from 100 percent to 50 percent at the end of the decade and to release 1.5 trillion drachmas.
Papantoniou was speaking at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry's annual awards ceremony.
He said this amount would be provided for more effective support programs for education and the national health system and primarily for social security, which will present an economic problem after 2010.
Papantoniou said the problem could be resolved more effectively with a budget, which will have been released from a huge burden, about 1.5 trillion drachmas of the public debt, which is excessively high at present.
He further said "the growth rate will not reach 5 percent, as we had initially predicted. However, it will be close to 5 percent and much higher, in contrast to what is happening in Europe, compared to 4.1 percent we had achieved last year. This year we will be having an acceleration of economic growth in Greece."
Source: Athens News Agency