Introduction of a one-stop-shop in starting up new businesses, via a general commercial register, is of national importance and rebukes a myth that Greek society cannot achieve major changes, Prime Minister George Papandreou underlined on Monday.

Speaking during a visit to the Athens Chamber of Medium-to-Small Size Manufacturing Enterprises and a presentation of the new service, the Greek premier was briefed over its operation. He noted that the new service will boost transparency and reduce bureaucracy while it was liberating the huge forces of business activity to the benefit of the country.

Chryssohoidis said the ministry's next goal was the licensing of enterprises, currently operating through the one-stop-shop method, while adding that the ministry will soon table a draft bill on the licensing of manufacturing enterprises within business regions and the certification of a series of technical professions.

The new service cuts the time needed to start up a business from 19 days to one day, while costs are also reduced by 50-62 pct, the government said. The new service aims to significant improve the country's position in World Bank's Starting Business list, as Greece currently occupies a very disappointing 149th place at present.

Papandreou forecast that the new electronic service will make Greece more attractive to investment, stressing that a large part of the responsibility in the operation of enterprises will be transferred to the business sector, with chambers emerging as stronger tools of entrepreneurship.

He was accompanied by Regional Development & Compe-titiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis and the chamber president P. Ravanis