Speaking at the Economist conference yesterday evening, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras tried to paint a picture of stabilization for the Greek economy and of restoration of Greece’s credibility abroad, protothema.gr writes.
Rejecting the doomsday scenarios, he said that while a few months ago many predicted the utter destruction of the euro and anticipated Greece’s exit from the single currency, “today, Greece remains in the euro and the situation stabilizes. Nobody bets on the so-called Grexit anymore,” he said.
“Greece is now shielded, catching its targets, moves closer to a primary surplus, has achieved reforms that had not been for decades, while our banking system is being recapitalized,” the Prime Minister added.
Samaras repeated the upbeat message he delivered on Monday after his government agreed with the troika on the details of structural reforms needed to unlock another EUR 2.8 billion of bailout funding. He said that Greece can “see light at the end of the tunnel,” Kathimerini writes. “It is not just the quantitative indicators but qualitative ones such as competitiveness that show it will be daybreak soon,” he said.
Samaras however stressed the need for aspects of the programme to change, particularly with regard to taxation. He said Greece needs to cut its value-added tax rates in order to be able to compete with neighboring countries, where they range between 8 and 10%. The Prime Minister said he favored a flat VAT rate of 15% for all sectors. He has long seen this as a way of reviving the Greek economy and attracting foreign companies to Greece. In his speech, Samaras suggested that Greece could become the home of international firms.