© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
25 February, 1998
Greece's government plans to phase in 10 moves to help restructure the economy in the next three years to ensure the country's participation in European economic and monetary union by 2001, Finance Undersecretary George Drys said yesterday.
Mr. Drys also reiterated that the government would not change its hard drachma policy.
"The government will keep the drachma's parity steady against the Ecu and later against the euro until Jan. 1, 2001, the date for Greece's entry into EMU," Mr. Drys told a seminar organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in Athens.
The 10 restructuring moves planned by the government include:
implementation of a decision to merge or abolish 1,750 state agencies
flotation and restructuring of 10 public utilities - a gradual liberalisation of telecommunications, energy and transport
upgrading of development legislation
granting autonomy to the Bank of Greece, or central bank
improving operation of the banking and insurance systems * ensuring greater access of private capital to major public projects, and to the country's financial system.
Mr. Drys predicted that in 1998 the economy would fulfill the criteria for public deficits set by the Maastricht Treaty. Criteria for inflat ion and interest rates would be met in 1999, he said.
Mr. Drys also predicted that inflation would drop to 4.2 percent in February from 4.4 percent the previous month.
Source: Athens News Agency