Greece needs to complete its privatization program, says Dep. Economy minister

Greece needs to complete its privatization program in order open the path towards growth, Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas told a conference on Tuesday titled “Crisis-Reforms-Growth”, organized by the Parliament’s Budget Office.

“For many years the country lived in an illusion of growth. It operated with a distorted model. Our aim must be to implement a policy for development and privatizations can be the key driver for the reorganization of the Greek economy,” Pitsiorlas said.

“There’s a need to complete the privatization program because only then will the horizons of development open for the country.”

The minister said people have to choose “with which Greece we are and what economy we want”, noting that it is crucial to change the culture that exists in the country today. The notion of statism that exists permeates the entire political and business world and through the existing situation they claimed benefits, he added. “This has to change,” he said because this is the only way the country will make any progress.

Pitsiorlas mentioned the port of Piraeus (OLP), which was sold last year to China’s Cosco, saying the move changed the country’s position in the economic map of the wider region. “The same can happen in energy,” he continued noting Greece could become an energy hub.

“But this can only happen if we manage to change the relationship between the state and private initiative,” he said. All large-scale privatizations attract only foreign business capital and not Greek. This happens, he explained, because the Greek business community has a specific relationship with the state and claims privileges from it.