EU proposes measures for growth

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso presented 30 measures in Strasbourg on Wednesday that cover the whole of the Greek economy and state mechanism spectrum and which, if applied, will bolster growth and employment in Greece.

In a message timed for the pre-election period in this country, Barroso told the European Parliament that with the determination of all Greeks and the full support of the European Union, Greece can be transformed. “I would like to tell the Greek people that we shall succeed together,” he added.

The proposals the Commission presented yesterday in its “Growth for Greece” draft are all included in the second program Athens has agreed to with its creditors, but according to Brussels and its Task Force to Greece, special emphasis must be placed on those proposals as they can bring about positive results relatively quickly and could change the picture of the economy within 2012.

The data that Barroso presented showed that the total package for Greece -- including European subsidies -- comes to 380 billion euros, or 33,600 euros per Greek citizen, amounting to 177 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, while in the context of the post-World War II Marshall Plan each country had received support equal to 2.1 percent of its GDP. For some reason, the statement did not include the view of Greece’s official creditors that there will be no need for a third bailout package.

There are three main sectors that should be given priority, according to the Commission. The first is the effective monitoring of public finances, including the extra measures amounting to 12 billion euros for 2013 and 2014.

The second is the recapitalization of the domestic credit system along with a cash flow supply of up to 5 billion euros for small and medium-sized enterprises from the European structural funds. The third is the release of the potential of the private sector through beating bureaucracy and corruption and via the structural changes that will improve the operation of the state and the business climate in the country. 

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