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PM Samaras describes tourism as 'champion of economy'
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sent out a message of optimism on Wednesday evening while addressing the general assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).
"Our wager is to perform miracles and we can win it only if we all try together. We can win, and we shall win," Samaras said.
Terming tourism "a support" for building the country's future "in difficult conditions of crisis", the prime minister said that tourism and shipping were the "champions of our economy" which will "apparently give the economy an important victory."
"Arrivals in Greece this year will surpass all previous numbers and will reach a record level. The income from tourism seems to be at record levels as well. This will be a victory for the tourism sector in which hundreds of thousands are employed, yielding income that is being distributed in all society. Tourism achievements will be a victory and a hope that we can exit from the tunnel. Moreover, it is an indication of a series of structural changes and reforms that improve the competitiveness of Greek products and a proof of a change in mentality," Samaras noted.
Referring to the State's role, the premier underlined that it "cannot be an obstacle. It will stand as a solid assistant to entrepreneurship."
"It is the businesses which create jobs and incomes, wealth and healthy growth. The State should create opportunities for the businessmen abroad. The State facilitates entrepreneurship in the country, it eliminates obstacles such as corruption, illegal antagonism and bureaucracy. The State also imposes rules which favour entrepreneurship," Samaras added.
"We have not completely eliminated bureaucracy but we have nevertheless contained it. We have restored stability and confidence...We are restoring liquidity, we are completing the recapitalisation of banks," the prime minister added.
"Our goal is to make Greece an important tourist destination. In order to return to a before-the-crisis GDP level, we must have a 25-30 percent increase. One third of this percentage can result from tourism alone," Samaras concluded.
Source: Athens News Agency