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Greek Economy to begin Recovering by end 2009

papaecon(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Greek economy will begin recovering by the end of 2009 and will return timely to positive growth rates in 2010, Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou estimated on Thursday. Addressing a Hellenic Federation of Enterprises Euro-Mediterranean Business Forum in Athens, Papathanasiou said Greece along with Cyprus were the only Eurozone member-states to maintain a slight positive growth rate in the first quarter of 2009. However, he added that following a general phenomenon in the EU, the Greek economy’s slowdown was greater compared with initial forecasts and noted that this trend would continue for the rest of the year with growth rates around zero. This performance, he stressed, although better compared with the EU’s average rate, would be markedly lower from an 1.1 pct growth envisaged in the country’s updated stability and growth program. He expressed optimism that the Greek economy would begin recovering by the end of 2009.  Greece actively participates in all stages of creating a Union for the Mediterranean, focusing on the East Mediterranean region, Papathanasiou stressed. Greece has gained representation in the Union’s secretariat and has submitted specific proposals regarding cooperation in solar energy, water management and creating sea routes with the interconnection of ports in South-eastern Mediterranean, he added. Hellenic Federation of Enterprises: “Bridging the Mediterranean – Athens Business Forum”  Ministry of Economy and Finance: www.mnec.gr; www.investingreece.gov.gr