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Greece receives technical assistance from Brussels to improve the local economy

15 September 2011 / 20:09:30  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova 

Tourism development, alternative energy sources, processing of raw materials and improvement of the food industry are part of the strongest sectors of the Greek economy for the development of which the task force convened by the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will provide technical assistance in Greece. The leader of the secondary mission of the European Commission Horst Reichenbach added specifically for GRReporter, that the group will address also some not so well developed until now sectors which are included in the report by McKinsey & Co opportunities for economic development of Greece and are defined as "Rising Stars". 

The European task force is in the middle of his first visit to Greece, which in his words is very positive. Reichenbach and his group have met with all Greek ministers to discuss the introduction of necessary changes so that the Greek economy will start working with a healthy rhythm. Many of the policies to be put into practice are noted in the mid-term recovery plan. Others are recorded only as needed reforms, but must be supported by appropriate regulatory framework. It does not exist yet and Europeans are expected to convey the Greek technocrats useful experience of similar reforms in other countries. 

After the vote of the medium-term rehabilitation program and the implementation plan at the end of June this year, obviously the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou realized that his government has neither the manpower nor the political strength to cope with the tense atmosphere. As one of his few logical moves lately, Papandreou decided to seek for technical assistance from the European Commission, which sent its experts to Greece. Their reports will come out every three months and will be absolutely independent from the ones on the development of three supervisory reforms of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and European Commission. 

Reichenbach said that his main goal is to help the dynamic recovery of the Greek economy and employment, and stressed that there is much to be done for the infrastructure development in the country. This is a sector which will open many jobs and will contribute significantly to attracting new capital and investments that will infuse life force in the economy. The problem with infrastructure projects, however, lies in the lack of funding. As a former Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ΕΒRD) Reichenbach stressed that Greece cannot take advantage of programs that were implemented in former communist countries, but will seek alternative sources of funding so that Wheel of development can start spinning. 

Sectors that are considered rough diamonds for the Greek economy are pharmaceuticals, aquaculture development, medical tourism, care for the elderly and chronically ill, the establishment of logistics centers and commercial waste management. The development of government policies to create new business opportunities in these areas is also part of the job of the task force from Brussels and Reichenbach stressed that despite the obvious difficulties investors keep their eyes open for new opportunities and many of them can now meet in Greece. He promised that during his next visit in mid-October 2011, the task force will have a more detailed action plan to be presented to the public. 

Tags: Greece economy crisis task force IMF
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