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COVID-19 Winding Down, Mitsotakis Woos Foreign Investors Again

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS - Greece is just as attractive for investments with the COVID-19 Coronavirus lessening as it was before the pandemic hit, Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, wanting them to put in their money.

He told senior executives of the Young Presidents' Organisation (YPO) in a video conference May 21, with an audience of about 1,000 CEOs and business leaders in more than 100 countries, that Greece’s handling of the virus showed it’s ready to pick up a recovery again.

The country was just beginning to accelerate a rebound from a near-decade long economic and austerity crisis after the Aug. 20, 2018 end of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($358.58 billion) when COVID-19 struck.

The government had lowered a corporate tax rate hiked to 29 percent by the former ruling anti-business Radical Left SYRIZA and was planning further cuts before the virus forced a detour of state funds to businesses temporarily closed by a lockdown and workers laid off for weeks.

Taking questions, Mitsotakis said the government's strategy from the beginning was to upgrade the investment environment, said Kathimerini after he last year said starting the 8-billion euro ($8.8 billion) development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport site that was stymied by SYRIZA was a top priority for his administration.

“We have come a long way in this direction, we have reduced taxes, we have improved the regulatory framework, the digitalization of public administration has progressed - something that many thought was impossible. And now we have the added advantage that we are considered a safe country with a well-functioning public administration,” he said.