PM eyes shift to growth

At sec­ond re­gional con­fer­ence, Tsipras says na­tional sovereignty can be re­gained

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras yes­ter­day un­der­lined the im­por­tance of jump-start­ing growth in Greece, say­ing it was tan­ta­mount to the debt-racked coun­try re­gain­ing its na­tional sovereignty.

Ad­dress­ing the sec­ond of his gov­ern­ment’s re­gional growth con­fer­ences, in the cen­tral town of Lamia, Tsipras in­di­cated that, fol­low­ing the re­turn to the mar­kets ear­lier this week, the coun­try is on the verge of turn­ing a page, to­ward growth and pros­per­ity, fol­low­ing seven years of re­ces­sion and aus­ter­ity.

“The goal of growth is con­nected to the very ex­is­tence of our na­tion, our na­tional sovereignty, the pros­per­ity of our peo­ple, our chil­dren,” Tsipras said.

Bring­ing about growth, how­ever, “de­mands broad so­cial al­liances, out­looks and po­lit­i­cal plan­ning,” the premier said in an address to an au­di­ence of en­trepreneurs and busi­ness groups.

Tsipras, who was ac­com­pa­nied on his visit by En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis, Labor and So­cial In­sur­ance Min­is­ter Effie Acht­sioglou and In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Min­is­ter Chris­tos Spirtzis, un­der­lined his in­ten­tion to meet with lo­cal of­fi­cials and en­trepreneurs and lis­ten to their con­cerns, declar­ing that he was not vis­it­ing Lamia as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the left­ist SYRIZA party he leads. “As we look to­ward the day af­ter, we are all in the same boat,” he said. “We are all sit­ting on the same branch,” he added. “We should stop saw­ing away at it.”

Ear­lier in the day, Tsipras met with em­ploy­ees of state-run min­ing firm Larco and re­as­sured them that his gov­ern­ment would en­sure the or­ga­ni­za­tion is not pri­va­tized.

Dur­ing his speech, he stressed that his gov­ern­ment’s aim was to en­sure “fair growth” and that those that have been hard­est hit by the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial cri­sis will not have to suf­fer any more.

He added that Greece has asked the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to broaden the so­cial and geographical cri­te­ria for re­gions to qual­ify for EU struc­tural fund­ing.

Ear­lier this month, Tsipras launched the first of what is in­tended to be a se­ries of re­gional growth con­fer­ences in Kozani, north­ern Greece, in a bid to in­di­cate that the coun­try is fi­nally turn­ing a page.

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