06 April, 2006
Tourist Development Minister Fanny Palli-Petralia outlined the government's tourist policy during an address made on Wednesday at the Economist's 10th Roundtable with the Greek Government titled "Unveiling New Priorities in a Changing World."
Petralia announced that the ministry is preparing the creation of a new department which will function as a "One Stop Shop" welcoming office for the coordination of major private investments, giving a further impetus to the sector of attracting tourist investments.
She also reminded that the government has proceeded with the ratification of a law on joint ventures in the public and private sectors, an implement which provides new and unprecedented prospects for Greece in the field of investments in tourism and culture.
Petralia also placed emphasis on both the international and domestic promotion of tourism and reiterated that the creation of strategic and operational marketing planning is being promoted for selected markets and for specific tourist products.
Also addressing the meeting, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said that the development ministry's main weapon for strengthening the competitiveness of businesses and of the economy is the Competitiveness Operational Program which funds businesses for up to 55 percent of an investment.
He mentioned that the Program's absorption rate has increased from 14.7 percent in March 2004 to 43 percent. In other words it has more than tripled. Over 530 million euros were provided through the Program in 2005 for the implementation of infrastructure projects and the subsidization of businesses. To date, more than 80,000 businesses have benefited from the Program.
Referring to energy policy, Sioufas said that Greece, despite the delays of the past, is already on a good path since a strong institutional framework has been enacted on the deregulation of electricity and natural gas markets.
Source: Athens News Agency