Economy Minister Stathakis: Greece’s economy is predicted to grow by 2.5-3.0 pct of GDP in 2017

Greece’s economy is predicted to grow by 2.5-3.0 pct of GDP in 2017, Economy, Development and Tourism Minister George Stathakis reaffirmed on Thursday, while speaking at the 1st Thessaloniki Summit 2016. He said the economic figures of the last three quarters supported this forecast and appeared confident that Greece can soon qualify for the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme.

“The second quarter of 2016 is the first where we have positive growth with respect to that immediately preceding it. There is certainty that the same course will continue in the third quarter, and strong indications concerning the fourth. The image of three successive quarters with positive rates is considered a trend that creates a more permanent prospect for the economy,” he said.

The minister said that banks now had all the tools they needed to manage the problem of non-performing loans, with targets set until 2019 for a 40 pct reduction of NPLs during that period. Regarding Greece’s fiscal adjustment programme, he noted that this appeared to be bringing results, with no deviations from targets.

“There is strong certainty that the main goal of fiscal stabilisation and the way in which the burden is distributed is broadly proceeding exactly as planned,” Stathakis said.

He said the government was also closer to achieving targets for making Greece more business-friendly, such as measures enabling the founding of a new business in a single day in a draft bill to be tabled within October.
Talking to the state broadcaster ERT on the sidelines of the summit, Stathakis referred to plans for an improved arbitration mechanism for out-of-court settlement of business debts, which will also involve the public sector. He noted that the previous law passed by New Democracy’s Nikos Dendias had “almost zero effectiveness,” with only seven businesseses resorting to it, while the new mechanism will have application on a much greater scale, including all types of businesses, freelance workers and entrepreneurs and taking into account the sum total of their debts, both to the state and private sector.

The Thessaloniki Summit 2016 is organised by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (FING) in collaboration with SGT, an integrated communications agency “building and sustaining strong corporate and brand reputations.”