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Greek Economic Outlook

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed the general assembly of the Federation of Greek Industries on Tuesday, and stressed the need for the creation of a powerful front against phenomena of profiteering and fraud. The premier called on the business world to combat inflation, to see to it that products “reaching consumers are high quality but with low prices and prove in practice that a free market does not mean an unaccountable market.”  Karamanlis emphasised that the main targets of the government’s policy are the creation of necessary conditions to increase wealth produced, the tackling of unemployment and the fairer distribution of social dividends.   He also stressed that he shall “continue the policy of reforms which have shielded the economy to a considerable degree, secured high growth rates and are restricting unfavourable repercussions.” Lastly, the premier said that “the latest assessments by the European Commission certify that growth will continue in our country with rates that are double the average of the eurozone, employment will increase by more than 1% per year and unemployment will continue to fall.” 

Athens News Agency: PM calls for front against profiteering, adulteration and fraud; Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT): The Greek Economy’s Objectives; Kathimerini daily: Inflation in sights of party leaders 

Fitch Ratings: Greece – “A” Positive Outlook

Fitch Ratings yesterday affirmed Greece’s foreign and local currency “Issuer Default ratings” (IDR) at ‘A’ with Positive Outlook and the “Short-term foreign currency IDR” at ‘F1’. The “Country Ceiling” is affirmed at ‘AAA’, reflecting Greek membership of the European Monetary union.

According to Fitch, the factors underpinning the Positive Outlook remain in place but more progress is needed on the public finances to translate this into an upgrade. The Positive Outlook reflects sustained and strong GDP growth, which is approximately double the euro area average in the last 10 years and is moving income per head towards EU15 levels. The economy is focused on services, especially shipping and tourism, and Greek business has successfully taken advantage of the rapid growth in southern Europe and the Balkans as well as the expansion of world trade. The banking system remains relatively strong. This is significantly better than the majority of its rated peers and in line with most developed countries and despite continuing rapid credit expansion. 

Greek News Agenda: The Greek Economy-Pointers