“Greece can now stand on its own two feet,” European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told Greek parliament on Tuesday, during a visit to Athens this week, and after meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.
“The time has come for Greece to be a normal country,” Moscovici said addressing the country’s lawmakers, adding that Greece can now look to the future moving ahead without financial assistance and supervision.
Following Moscovici’s address in Greek parliament, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura called for his support in including Greek tourism as a priority in the planning of the EU budget for Regional Development and Cohesion Policy beyond 2020, which is set to take effect in 2024.
“I am counting on your support so that tourism can move up on the agenda of all member states,” Kountoura said in parliament.
“Tourism is a driving force of the national economy, stimulating growth in other productive sectors such as trade, transport, hospitality, the property market, and above all creating new jobs,” she said, adding that there is now an investor-friendly framework in place so that the private sector can tap into the benefits of this growth.
Addressing commissioner Moscovici, Kountoura thanked him for recognizing the “sacrifices of the Greek people” in the years of austerity, and for conveying that “Greece is turning a page, returning to growth with no more bailouts”.
Greece will receive its final 15-billion-euro bailout tranche after successfully completing its fourth assessment and will exit its nearly eight-year-long aid program on August 20, with a cash buffer of 24.1 billion euros, set to meet its sovereign financial needs through to 2020.