N. Pappas: Priority to the coordination and unification of digital and telecommunications policy

The head of the newly-formed Ministry of Digital Policy, Media and Telecommunications, Nikos Pappas, on Monday took over the Telecommunications and Post portfolio from fellow cabinet minister Christos Spirtzis, who retains the Infrastructure and Transport portfolios.

Spirtzis noted that the transfer of the telecommunications and post secretariat “will mark the transition from the recessionary period we are experiencing to times of growth.”

Pappas said it was crucial to make a fundamental change, giving priority to the coordination and unification of digital and telecommunications policy, “which we believe will be the driver of new growth, which will make the country a leading player and more democratic.”

If Greece was able to overcome the obstacles, he added, it would open up the information “superhighway” for all Greeks, since everyone had a right to equal and unobstructed access to information. He also criticised previous governments for failing to exploit the comparative advantages offered by Greece’s geographic location and its “enviable human resources”. Greece was capable of becoming a trade and telecommunications hub, he added, but needed modern, reliable and extensive networks to achieve this.

Commenting on the recent reshuffle, Pappas rejected opposition criticism as self-contradictory “but fully compatible with the opposition parties’ discredited theory that it was pointless and impossible to negotiate [with the creditors]. This theory was also the policy they followed, for as long as they governed the country during the years of crisis.”

“We have a government that can lead the country in the next steps and, as the prime minister said, it is now time for the other side in the negotiations to do what they must on the basis of the commitments they have undertaken.” Disagreements between the creditors should not be allowed to delay Greece’s absolutely attainable and necessary leap forward to growth, he added.