Greece needs healthy public finances and to fully return to normality, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said at the 6th annual economic conference of the Hellenic Association of Entrepreneurs (EENE) on Monday. The prime minister and the government's economic team were working methodically and seriously to inspire a clear vision and a long-term strategy for reorganising and strengthening the Greek economy in the state, businesses and households, he added.
Staikouras said the target was for economic growth in 2020 to be higher than in 2019, noting that higher growth and lower borrowing costs will improve the sustainability of public debt.
The minister said the government was putting priority on a reform framework that will make businesses stronger and help them play their pivotal role. "The aim is economic growth within a framework of healthy, disciplined and sustainable public finances, a return to full normality, ensuring a healthy business and macroeconomic environment and returning the country to investment grade as fast as possible," he said.
Staikouras said the government had set nine targets for 2019, including : achieving agreed fiscal targets; supporting the stability of the banking system; the completion, after the end of October, of a new, stable and investment-friendly tax framework; increasing liquidity in the real economy; promoting privatisation; and implementing structural reforms.
The government's other priorities included the implementation of outstanding commitments from the third post-programme review in June 2019, the introduction of the right framework for the management of private debt and the repayment of the more expensive portion of loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he added.
He said there was a comprehensive plan going right up to November 2019, to ensure that the next review goes well and any money that is due to be given to Greece will be disbursed.