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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Greece’s High-Techers Foreign Investors Draw

ATHENS – Renowned for the quality of technology professionals – after the country’s young and skilled had been held down for years by political favoritism – Greece is a magnet for foreign investors needing their skills, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

Speaking to an audience for Greek-French development, entitled Growing Together, he said “Greece has a huge human capital …  if you focus on the technology sector, I think what many foreign businesses saw in Greece was the quality of our engineers, who come at a lower cost than the European average, and who know how to work very hard.”

He noted a huge exodus of the best and brightest during an economic and austerity crisis from 2010-18 when Greece needed 326 billion euros ($357.46 billion) in three international bailouts to survive.

“Greece lost 500,000 young people who left during the crisis – highly talented young people, who assume risks, and who left Greece. It is the first time they plan to return to Greece.”

Talking to  Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of the French investment bank Bpifrance, he said there was a need for more European collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises who are the major employers.

“Below large multinationals, there are thousands of businesses in Greece, France and other countries here which must realize that an investment in another European country should come naturally to them. It should not be very complicated – at the end of the day, this is our common market, our advantage,” Mitsotakis said, reported Kathimerini.

He noted that “our real purpose is to guarantee we will continue our development progress. We are facing several crises, the latest being energy prices,” as he tries to accelerate an economic recovery during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was co-hosted Bpifrance, the Hellenic Development Bank (HDB) and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments SA (HDBI), and took place under the auspices of the Greek Development and Investment Ministry. Also participating were investment entities from Greece, France, Germany, Finland and Denmark, which aim at leveraging a total of 3.3 billion euros ($3.62 billion) in EU funds targeting technology companies, the paper also said.

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