Framework for change must address all sectors
How is the Greek economy performing?
ET It’s very promising, especially at the micro level. Industrial production rose in March by 8.7 % year-on-year, the sixth consecutive month of positive growth. Manufacturing is particularly strong, retail sales are up 4.6 %, car registrations by 22 % and unemployment is beginning to fall. Exports rose by 6 % in 2016.
What actions should take priority to unlock the economy?
It’s not going to be one big idea, “invest in infrastructure” or “invest in agriculture.” We want a differentiated development strategy with a coherent framework, where small- and medium-sized enterprizes have a crucial role to play in creating jobs. That could mean, for instance, new financing tools, or creating production clusters. We need to sell our strengths better – very few people know how many structural reforms Greece has implemented.
How can privatizations contribute to the recovery of the Greek economy?
We have a strategy of both privatizing and also restructuring Greek firms. Privatizations are associated with foreign investment. Additionally, you can bring in international knowhow and those international firms will use Greek suppliers and they will help to increase the skills of Greek workers, and that’s what we consider a win-win privatization. The worst kind of privatization is just privatizing and taking the profits out.