Opening by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Development, Yannis Dragasakis

It is a great pleasure to welcome the first updated version of the National Growth Strategy.

With the end of the adjustment era, the Growth Strategy is the main policy framework for moving on.

This is the road map for the next decade, the path to a new, sustainable, fair and inclusive growth model, and the planning of the new Programming Period 2021-2030.

The National Growth Strategy puts an end to a long-lasting period during which the Greek economy was moving without any orientation and planning. Economic growth, during decades, was anarchic and fragmented. Although reaching at times high rates, it proved to be not sustainable generating inequality, exclusion and the degradation of the environment. Over the last decades trends such as deindustrialisation, loss of productive capacity alongside with the ‘tertiarisation’ of the economy have been predominant.

Each economic cycle resulted in disastrous crises and prolonged periods of stagnation. We recently suffered such a devastating crisis, which took the form of state bankruptcy and social impoverishment.  Obliviousness does not help. We must leave behind the crisis, but not without drawing the necessary lessons out of it, in order to prevent similar disasters in the future.

For years, the dominating view was that markets alone could effectively allocate social resources. Thus, the operation of the Greek state was characterized not only by the lack of strategy but also by the absence of structures, procedures and tools for planning, evaluating and implementing  sectoral and public policies. At the same time, specific needs and interests were served by a clientilist system of occasional and fragmented regulations. This situation increased legal complexity, bureaucracy and ultimately the inefficiency of the Greek state both in terms of satisfying social needs and the needs of entrepreneurship.

Thus, this strategy can be the starting point for a qualitative leap as, for the first time in its modern history, Greece adopts a comprehensive and coherent development strategy that introduces a holistic approach in terms of planning, programming and coordinating policy action as well as fundamental values such as transparency, commitment and public accountability.

The Growth Strategy incorporates the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and stands in line with the EU priorities. It is not a static document, but a dynamic process based on evaluation, updating and enrichment. The Strategy was not produced by a small group of "specialists". On the opposite, it has been drawn up following a wide-range of open consultation and it has also reached a positive reception from our European counterparts.

In this context, the present updated version includes all the latest developments since July 2018 when the Growth Strategy was initially announced. In this first updated version, the Strategy contains about 100 reforms, policy and projects, allowing a better monitoring of its implementation. Furthermore, for the first time, 40 -ambitious but achievable- KPIs have been set aiming at:

  • Tackling lasting structural shortcomings, weaknesses and distortions of the productive system in order to build an export-oriented, high added-value and knowledge-intensive development model
  • To "heal the wounds" caused by the crisis in both the economy and society in order to strengthen the country's social cohesion and sustainability
  • To cope with megatrends of our time and future challenges such as the 4th industrial revolution, growing demographic pressures and social inequalities and the adaptation to climate change.

 

Yiannis Dragasakis

 

 

 

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