The Greek Press Today
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20 November, 2006
The American people were fully aware of Greece's progress in recent years, Greece's information secretary general Panos Livadas told ANA-MPA on Saturday in New York, where he took part in the 8th annual Capital link conference titled "Greece in the New Era of Extroversion".
Livadas said that, from within the Capital Link forum, which he said was evolving into an institution, Greece had the opportunity to send a message to the US, too, that no one should see Greece as simply a market of 11 million people, but as a gateway, an entryway, to a wider region of the 160 million citizens of SE Europe, which was speedily growing.
Livadas said that Greece has "structured the venture for all sectors of the economy, energy, tourism, exports, etc.".
The results, as presented also by the government's economic staff, "prove that the American public opinion recognizes our country's progress in the past years".
To a question on Greece's present-day image, Livadas said that for many years, in the past, Greece had been sending a message of disgruntlement to the American public opinion. The economic problems, the clashes and arguments over specific matters that concerned Greece's interests, were not sending an optimistic message, even to the younger generations of the Greek American community. "But many of those things have changed now," he added.
More specifically, Livadas pointed out, "our economy is penetrating other countries daily, and the extroversion of our country's orientation is a very important development".
"Our comparative advantages are what we rely one, and what we are penetrating increasingly more foreign markets with," he continued.
Reiterating economic figures cited by the economic staff, Livadas stressed that tourism this your had increased by 12 percent, for the second consecutive year, while exports had risen by 22 percent.
On Greek foreign policy and its role in the creation of an auspicious climate for Greece, Livadas said that Greece's foreign policy confronts the outstanding affairs in the region in a new, modern way. "We have, for example, important outstanding matters with Turkey, which, however, do not hinder us from supporting that country's European orientation, provided, of course, that our neighbor first fulfills its obligations to the European Union".
"In this creative way, we are tackling the various outstanding matters, without their hindering us from cooperating in various economic sectors with Turkey," Livadas said, citing the National Bank of Greece's acquisition of Turkey's FinansBank as an example.
On the FYROM name issue, he said that "we are working in a creative way, within the framework of the UN, to solve this specific issue", adding that "this does not, however, obstruct us from being the tope investor in FYROM".
Naturally, he added, as soon as the process aimed at resolution of the name issue was completed and a mutually acceptable settlement was found, "it will be our pleasure to also support FYROM's accession to NATO, something that we desire".
Source: Athens News Agency