SEV: A strict implementation of the memorandum combined with growth countermeasures could lead to a blossoming of business activity

A strict implementation of the memorandum combined with growth countermeasures could lead to a blossoming of business activity in the country, Theodore Fessas, president of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV), said on Wednesday.

The head of Greece’s largest employers and industry association, speaking to reporters during a news conference, said that investments will come from the private sector and foreign investors as Greece had no funds and there was obviously no more money to borrow. He noted, however, that the economy did not resemble a coiled spring ready to be released so much as a gear that required all sides “to work together for growth”.

“If someone is placing more burdens or putting hurdles before a country that is ready to run, this is a significant and political issue but not one that we can resolve. Policy is the responsibility of politicians,” Fessas said, responding to reporters’ questions over the need for political consensus. He added that SEV was striving for political consensus and referred to the Federation’s action to find a common ground between all parties involved with economic growth (business unions, workers and the state).

Fessas reiterated that SEV was not supporting changes in legislation for mass lay-offs, nor changes in laws on lock outs and noted that SEV was not raising any issue about payrolls. He added, however, that negotiations between social partners and a collective labour agreement were limited to pay and benefit issues based on a tight union horizon and stressed that employers and workers should expand discussions to a variety of issues.

He said that the Federation did not recommend any cuts in the public sector workforce, or pay cuts in the public sector and underlined the need for growth countermeasures, such as combating tax evasion. He noted that any state enterprise that was privatised became much more efficient and helped boost state revenues.