ATHENS – Greece's successful handling of the first phase of the health crisis was "another weapon" in the country's arsenal for a rapid restart of the Greek economy, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Thursday during a press briefing.
"It is the intangible national 'profit', the individual acquis that has become a collective property and is called trust," stressed Petsas, while adding that "trust says a lot about economic growth, because trust brings investment, jobs and sustainable growth in the country."
Petsas noted that the government was focusing on parallel goals: "First, on the war against the coronavirus, which is still here. Constant vigilance is required of everyone. Secondly, on supporting businesses, workers and the unemployed, so that we can all emerge from the crisis with the fewest possible losses. And thirdly, in terms of fiscal measures, on activating liquidity support mechanisms, as well as the promotion of reforms, so that the combination of all these can act as the fuel for restarting the economy."
The successful handling of the first phase of the health crisis was another weapon in this effort, he explained. "We have proved what the Greeks can do, we achieved a victory and regained trust. A prize we won with effort and sacrifice," he said, highlighting the importance of the trust thus gained for economic growth.
"It doesn't say much about employment up until February, before the catastrophic storm of the pandemic. But it says a lot about people's ability to see a better tomorrow once the storm has passed, by investing and protecting jobs. It doesn't say much about the absolute amount of public debt. But it does say a lot the cost of servicing it. As has already been proved four times since July 2019 until the present day, given that we borrowed 8.5 billion euros from markets at historically low interest rates, saving hundreds of millions of euros for all Greeks. It doesn't say much about the state we knew until recently. However, it says a great deal about the state we saw emerging during these weeks of hardship," added Petsas and he emphasised that, by building on trust, all Greeks will be able to see a better common future.