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Ορέστης Τσακαλώτος, εκτελεστικός πρόεδρος και ιδρυτής της Qualco Group

Orestis Tsakalotos: How the new crisis can become an opportunity for Greece

Describing the current economic and geopolitical environment, the president of Qualco Group, estimated that geopolitical tensions will persist and Europe will face serious challenges, as inflation will remain high and the value of money changes.

Τhe president of Qualco Group, Orestis Tsakalotos, expressed his optimism that Greece could use the new crisis in the global economy as an opportunity for major reforms and for the promotion of technological transformation projects, in particular, in comments at the Economist Conference.

In a discussion with Mohamed El-Erian, president of Queen's College at the University of Cambridge and chief financial advisor of Allianz, the parent company of PIMCO, Tsakalotos referred to the great economic crisis that Greece went through, noting that everything that could go badly, did. He stressed that the country became a very good laboratory for the implementation of policies, learned its lesson from the crisis of 2008 and today has positive prospects. The successful management of the pandemic has also contributed to this direction.

Describing the current economic and geopolitical environment, Tsakalotos estimated that geopolitical tensions will persist and Europe will face serious challenges, as inflation will remain high and the value of money changes. Under these circumstances, he estimated that Greece can benefit from its advantages as significant work has been done in previous years on reforms.

"In an environment of great volatility and uncertainty, we need the foundations for stability", he stressed. "The challenge for the country," he noted, "will be to implement major technological transformation projects that will improve living standards and will affect different social levels. In this context, the implementation time of the projects is crucial, as time limits are very tight, while the role of the institutional funds will be particularly important."

The four pillars for the implementation of the projects that will transform the economy are: Information technology based on scientific research, fintech, capacity in the execution of projects and institutional funds. "We rarely see all this together, the way to make great projects is to bring them together", Tsakalotos said.

Public-private partnerships and the use of institutional capital are needed, he added. In this field, Greece has some good examples to show, he said, noting the successful securitisations of non-performing loans. At the same time, prudent management of public money will be required in order for the country to rise to investment grade.

In any case, as Tsakalotos stressed, times of crisis are an opportunity to implement policies of major reforms. He even pointed to an example of a successful reform implementation, the PPC consolidation program.

The course of the last three years has shown that everything is possible, he underlined, adding that companies in Greece are trained to work in difficult times. Today they are called upon to function as families and they must take care of their children in order to face the challenges of the situation more effectively.

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