04 January, 2005
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday attended a reception hosted by the Athens Commerce and Industry Chamber (EBEA) to mark the New Year.
In statements to reporters on arrival at the reception, Karamanlis said:"2005 is a year of major changes, of reforms everywhere. In the economy, the state, education, in Health. We are carrying the burdens of yesterday, without shifting them on the citizens. With the 'housecleaning' and reorganization of the economy, we are creating conditions for dynamic and stable development in all sectors, throughout the country.
"The basic aim is a competitive economy, which produces more and creates new jobs. An effective and reliable state close to the citizen.
"With the individual at the epicenter of our policy, we are working so that day by day the citizens ascertain tangible results in the improvement of their daily life."
In statements to reporters, National Economy and Finance Minister Alogoskoufis appeared optimistic about the New Year. He noted that following the 2004 Olympic Games, 2005 would be a "crucial" year. He added, however, that "the target is economic growth and greater competitiveness in order to tackle the problems of unemployment and public finances." The economy minister also expressed optimism that "with the economic policy and the impetus of the economy, we will go well."
In reply to demands by the business world for greater efforts to be made in order to restrict state expenditures but also for reforms which will further strengthen private initiative, Alogoskoufis noted that the structural changes will proceed with moves by the government, such as tax reform and the development law which will help the private sector.
Source: Athens News Agency