Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting with EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning, at Maximos Mansion, with EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, who is visiting Greece in order to participate in the Delphi Economic Forum.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister and Mr Gentiloni made the following statements:

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Good to see you. It’s always a pleasure to welcome you to Athens. These are interesting times, two months before the next European elections. Looking forward to having a discussion also about the general state of the European economy.

We’re happy to report that Greece is doing rather well. I think we’ve achieved something which seems to be complicated for most member states, high growth rates, but at the same time, a solid commitment to fiscal responsibility with significant primary surpluses that will continue to contribute towards reducing our debt to GDP ratio.

We fully understand that in order to maintain these sustainable high growth rates, we need to focus even more on structural reforms. This has been the mandate that the government has received nine months ago. As you see, we continue full speed, regardless of the electoral cycle, to implement these reforms.

For example, we’ve just tabled a very important reform, probably the most important reform ever of our judicial system in terms of better allocating our judges in order to reduce the time it takes for the justice system to issue its verdict, because we knew this was always a structural impediment towards improving both the state of our rule of law, but also our economic performance.

I want you to rest assured that the government is strong and remains fully committed towards our reform agenda, which is also our reform agenda that is unlike what happened during the difficult years, it’s our own. I think it’s supported by the European institutions with which, as you know, we have an excellent level of cooperation.

Paolo Gentiloni: Well, thank you very much, Prime Minister. Indeed, I’m rather optimistic also for the European economy, but the European economy entered this year in a very weak footing. We hope for the second part of the year, we will have an acceleration of the activity and maybe 2025 in a better situation.

But indeed, as you said, we have to recognise that Greece has a different scenario. We have an average of growth in Europe around zero point something, and you have in Greece an average growth of two point something, which makes a difference.

It is not only on figures. I think it is also how Greece is also using the European funds ‘NextGenerationEU’. This is part of the story, which is a story of increasing investments, investments also in strategic sectors like research, development, education, how Greece is increasing exports, which is also a very important message.

Let me also recognise your personal role, which is very important in this moment for the future of the Union. We are, of course, in a moment of changement of the political cycle near to the elections, but having a success story to tell is very important for the future also of Europe.

Thank you very much for your time and for this meeting.


The meeting was attended, on behalf of the Greek government, by the Director of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office Anna-Maria Boura, the Head of the Council of Economic Advisors Michael Arghyrou, the Head of the Prime Minister’s Economic Office Alexis Patelis and the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Global Affairs and Strategic Communications, Aristotelia Peloni.

On the part of the European Commission, the Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) Gerassimos Thomas, the Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece Niovi Ringou and the member of Paolo Gentiloni’s cabinet, Erik Burckhardt, participated.