Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis appeared optimistic for a solution that will lead to the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, speaking at a London School of Economics event this Monday 28.11. There is a better sense of understanding that maybe a win-win solution can be found, the Prime Minister emphasized at the beginning of his discussion with professor of Modern Greek Studies and director of the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics, Kevin Featherstone, on the occasion the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Greek Observatory at the LSE.
As reported by the ANA-MPA Agency, Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, saying that it was possible and that he sees progress on this issue but does not wish to adopt a public position, during the discussion he had with Kevin Featherstone. "It is possible that a mutually beneficial solution can be found, the Parthenon Sculptures can be reunited and at the same time the concerns of the British Museum can be taken into account. I understand that there is momentum, I am consciously talking about reunification of the Sculptures and not about a return," PM Mitsotakis noted.
"The threats from Turkey and the questioning of the Greek sovereignty of the islands of the Eastern Aegean are unacceptable. We have made it clear that we are open to dialogue, but we will not accept a violation of our national sovereignty and sovereign rights, nor will we accept a fait accompli," explained the prime minister, when asked by Kevin Featherstone about Turkey's attitude towards Greece.
It was important that Greece had convinced its allies in Europe and the USA that more than just the protection of Greek sovereignty is at stake, Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized, but also overall stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and he insisted that "our only difference with Turkey is the delineation of maritime zones and this can be resolved on the basis of International Law, as long as Turkey shows good will." In fact, the Prime Minister asserted that Turkey is using migration as a tool by pushing, as he said, desperate people towards the Greek-Turkish border. "Unfortunately, the problem continues to this day, we have called on Turkey to return to the spirit of the 2016 EU-Turkey agreement," PM Mitsotakis said.
The prime minister insisted that against the background of the Russian war in Ukraine, the European Union emerges geopolitically more united, however he reiterated that on the front of the energy crisis, "a stronger European response against Russian blackmail" is still being sought and he noted that Greece has quite early on submitted to the European dialogue its proposal to impose a cap on the international price of natural gas.
"We have made progress in this area as well, however, we still have a way to go," noted Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The Prime Minister also defended the reforms promoted by the government: "We now own the important reforms we are promoting", he said and emphasized that the markets applaud the government's choices in the economic sector, adding that in 2023 the growth rate in the country will be three times the European average.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' visit to London: A focus on investments and Greece’s positive outlook
Greece's promotion as an attractive investment destination is paramount in Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' visit to London. The Prime Minister delivered the keynote address at the Greek Investment Conference, a networking event dedicated to Greece and its investment opportunities, organized by the Athens Stock Exchange and Morgan Stanley in partnership with Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece and PiraeusBank. The Greek Investment Conference took place in London, on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 November 2022, aiming to support Greek entrepreneurship by highlighting investment opportunities in the Greek Capital Market. It featured a combination of one–on–one & small group meetings between the biggest companies listed in the Athens Stock Exchange and international funds, alongside panel discussion sessions and other networking events and presentations.
As reported by primeminister.gr, during his keynote speech and discussion with the head of Morgan Stanley International Franck Petitgas on Monday 28.11, the Prime Minister pointed out the particularly good performance of the Greek economy, the fact that the country has turned into an investment destination, the geopolitical and energy advantages of Greece, the elections dilemma and the main political goals for the coming years. Introducing the Prime Minister, Petitgas acknowledged the economic course of Greece and its prospects, in this adverse international environment.
We have a record year again in 2022. I expect another record year in 2023
“If you look at our growth rates for 2022 we are going to be close to 6%, in 2023 we expect 1.8% which is three times the eurozone average. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being higher. Most importantly for me is that this growth has real sustainable characteristics. It is making the economy much more extrovert,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“We have been able to convince international investors that this is really the time to be in Greece. If Foreign Direct Investments is an indicator of the interest that Greece has been able to generate, we have a record year again in 2022. I expect another record year in 2023. There is a variable – which I am sure you will ask me about – which has to do with the elections and the political situation. Once this is going to be resolved, I would expect a new impetus in terms of investor interest in Greece,” added the Prime Minister.
Referring to the priorities of the next four years, the Prime Minister pointed out that his priority is “the quality of growth. This is not just about 5, 6, 7% or 2 or 3% in difficult years of growth. Is the growth sustainable? This is a top priority for me. Do we focus on the digital transformation in a way that will allow us to lead from other countries? And will it be socially just in terms of making sure that disposable income and wages, especially lower wages, actually come up and everyone has a fair share in the wealth that we create. So for me the quality aspect of the growth that we can produce is very important and the sustainability, digital and social aspect needs to be part of our policies on all fronts. I want to push unemployment well under 10% and we are on a path to actually do that. And of course, big focus on reskilling, educating our workforce, opening up our universities to the challenges of the future. And on the social front, a big emphasis on healthcare”, said the Prime Minister.
Greece: a leading force in renewable energy sources
Referring to the issues of energy, the Prime Minister explained the government plan: “We need to move away from Russian gas as quickly as possible, which means we need other sources of gas in the short-term. Greece can play a role in this on two fronts: first of all, as a hub for LNG. There is a lot of investment taking place, a lot of LNG that will come into Europe and in the wider region through Greece. And Greece also, for the first time in many years, looks into it as it has its own hydrocarbon resources, its own natural resources. There is some serious research activity taking place by Exxon and Helleniq Energy southwest of Crete and Peloponnese. Exxon is very very interested in this space and I presume they have some good indications. We will know, probably in a year, if something meaningful is to be discovered”.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that Greece is a leading force in the penetration of renewable sources into the energy mix: “Of course, we are also an important player when it comes to renewables. We are big renewable producers. We have 10GW installed in wind and solar, maybe another 2.5 in hydro. We want to get up to 25GW. We want to be a net exporter of energy. For us, it is really a challenge. We have enough investor interest. It is a question of prioritizing investments, making sure we have the grids and the infrastructure in place to bring in all this renewable energy. And of course, we can also bring in energy from Africa”, he said.
With information from ANA-MPA, primeminister.gr