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Greek vote signals plea for growth

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 02:06

Greek people and businesses will have to continue to make sacrifices under the new government but they need to know that the country is on the path of growth says the chamber of commerce.

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(ROUGH CUT -- NO REPORTER NARRATION) The president of the Greek chamber of commerce said voters have given the new government a clear mandate to work for growth within the euro zone. Greece is in a deep recession, crushed under a huge public debt and still facing rising social tensions. The country faces a daunting struggle to restore a near-bankrupt economy, and the new government could face a new wave of protests after taking office. Speaking in Athens the day after crucial national elections which gave the conservative New Democracy party a 29 percent share of the vote against the radical leftist group SYRIZA, Constantine Michalos, said he hoped the political parties would now engage seriously and form a government by the end of the day. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSTANTINE MICHALOS, GREEK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "The business community here in Greece is content that the pro-European vote prevailed. The majority of the Greek voters have voted for Europe, for the euro-zone. What is of great importance though now is that seriousness will continue to prevail following this voting process. Its a question of convincing the people of the seriousness of the situation and the implementation of policies that we all know that need to be implemented but unfortunately as a result of the so called political cost, successive governments in the past hadn't taken the right steps in implementing these policies. There will have to be sacrifices. But the Greek people need to know how long these sacrifices will last, when these will end, when will they exit the tunnel of crisis that we have been living through so we can then return to a path of growth. They need to have political powers that are not afraid to take these steps but at the same time, they have to speak the language of truth. The liquidity crunch that the private sector has been feeling over the last year, year and a half is tremendous. Even healthy companies today, not exposed to any lending whatsoever , are finding it extremely difficult the necessary working capital in order to import raw materials or other finished products for their day to day activity. so the re-capitalisation of the banking system here in Greece is of paramount importance. The other issue we have often spoken about, government has announced such as facing the red tape, reducing bureaucracy, simplifying the process of setting up and operating companies, and of course a steady and honest taxation system are issues that of course must be of prime concern but returning to liquidity is of paramount importance."

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Greek vote signals plea for growth

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 02:06