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Politics

Oikonomou Briefs the Press on Greek PM’s Trip to the United States

September 23, 2021

ATHENS — Government spokesperson Yannis Oikonomou started the press briefing on Thursday with a reference to the prime minister's trip to the United States.

"As you know, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been in the US since yesterday in order to participate in the UN General Assembly. He has a very busy schedule of meetings in New York with foreign leaders, UN officials, executives of the business and investment community as well as executives of the dynamic Greek community," he said.

"The focus of the prime minister's contacts will be the country's alliances – regional, European and international – and important foreign policy issues, issues of investment interest as well as relations with the US Congress," he added.

"Last night, the prime minister attended a dinner hosted by European Council President Charles Michel for elected leaders of European and African countries."

Oikonomou underlined that "the prime minister's programme also includes meetings with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Menfi, which will be dominated by regional and international developments focusing on Greece's role in the region but also Turkish provocations and illegal actions."

Regarding the economy, he said: "The dynamic growth of our economy justifies our reform strategy. This is confirmed by data, evaluation reports and mainly the results that Greek citizens see in their income and the difference in their obligations compared to the past."

"It is now ascertained by ELSTAT that in the first seven months of 2021 the total value of exports reached 22.11 billion euros, showing an increase of 24.7 percent compared to 2020," he said and added:

"In the first half of 2021 alone, net inflows of foreign direct investment amounted to 2.31 billion euros, showing an increase of 34 percent compared to 2020."

"One will wonder if this performance concerns a few people or certain people," he said, and added: "The answer is that it concerns us all."

The government spokesman also pointed out that "at the same time, the 11th Institutional Assessment Report – published yesterday by the European Commission – makes a series of positive remarks about the Greek economy.

Among others:

– It noted that the economy is recovering faster than expected, although the resumption of economic activity took place later than predicted in the previous report.

– It stressed the effectiveness of measures to support employment and stimulate business liquidity and makes reference to measures to alleviate and strengthen those affected by the recent large fires.

– It recognised that the government has continued, at a good pace, the implementation of reforms in a number of areas.

– It highlighted the key role of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience "Greece 2.0", so that Greece emerges from the health crisis stronger and private and public investments increase.

– It confirmed that the impact of the pandemic on the financial sector has been limited, thanks to the measures taken by the government, with the culmination of the extension of the "Hercules" programme, the law on debt settlement, the provision of a second chance and the "Bridge" programmes.

– It underlined that cash reserves remain at high levels, as the successful bond issues of the Greek State continue."

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