Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will stress that fiscal improvement by Greece over the last few years lays the foundations for much needed future growth, while at the same time reiterating that reforms in the country must continue in order to attract investments. Lew’s comments are part of an interview to the Economist on the occasion of his address at a conference sponsored by the London-based media group in Athens on Monday. The conference’s title is “How fast can we grow?”, which will take place at a seaside resort southeast of Athens. The influential one-time treasury secretary in the Obama administration conceded that differences of opinion existed with the European side over macro-economic issues, while qualifying that preservation of the Atlantic alliance and the European Union was always a common position.  Lew’s interview, in full: Do you detect a reverse in the course of the Greek economy? Or is it still too early?  On the one hand, Grexit seems to have left the table, but on the other hand we still don’t see any growth rates that would point to a success story in Greece. Greece has clearly made progress.  The most recent IMF review reflected that progress, as do measures of economic performance.  After a period of better growth, the economy did flatten out, but improved fiscal conditions are a basis for better growth in the future, and a first step back into capital markets reflects that progress.  Countries cannot simply cut or borrow their way to sustained growth.  To reach sustained growth and improved income equality requires a balanced and disciplined approach that supports both economic demand and investment – which is why maintaining reforms and ultimately reaching an agreement on debt restructuring remain so important.  With this balanced approach, Greece should be an attractive place to invest, and should see growing access to capital markets. There is still more work to be done, but with the continued determination of the Greek people and their elected government, and the ongoing cooperation of international partners, the future holds the promise of further economic improvement in this birthplace of democracy. As it emerges from the Eurogroup meeting of June 15​th in Luxembourg, the IMF will continue to participate actively in the Greek program, but will only disburse money if and when the medium term measures on the Greek debt​ are specified. How do you evaluate this development? Is it a good solution? I have long agreed with the IMF that debt restructuring is essential to achieve a long term solution that puts Greece back on a path to sustained economic growth.  It is in the interest of Europe, as well as the IMF and the US, for Greece to be on an economic path that promotes domestic and geopolitical stability.  I was encouraged that the Luxembourg meeting produced greater certainty that debt restructuring will be addressed, and in that context hopefully resolve the Greek financial situation so that it does not require constant revisiting.  That in and of itself will help produce a better environment both for economic growth and political stability.  Since Luxembourg, additional progress on the IMF review and an initial step into the private capital markets are both positive developments. In your opinion, where should the Greek side give more emphasis? On the demand for​ ​further​​ frontloaded debt relief or on the implementation of reforms that will improve competitiveness and increase GDP? What’s mo​re important? The best solution is not a choice between these options, but all of the above.  A well balanced plan that maintains credible fiscal targets, economic reforms that promote sustained investment and hiring, and debt restructuring that produces sustainable flows should all be combined in a comprehensive plan.  Until all the elements are addressed at the same time, there will be an expectation of additional rounds of negotiations and all parties will hold back because of that.  Moreover, the sum is greater than the parts if done together, and the impact on confidence and investment would be greater. What is your experience through your cooperation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble​,​ and how do you assess the performance of the Eurozone today? Minister Schauble is a good friend, and I deeply value the role he has played to advance US and European cooperation to build a stronger and safer world.  He and I sometimes have different macroeconomic views, but always stood together on the importance of maintaining the Atlantic Alliance and the European Union.  On matters of mutual security and protecting sovereignty, one could ask for no better partner than Minister Schauble, whether addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supporting Iraq’s economy so battlefield gains against ISIL were not lost in a weakened economy, or working together to stop terrorist financing.  In response to the refugee crisis, Germany relaxed fiscal demands, at home and through Europe, to promote an immediate and significant response. Minister Schauble was a leader within Germany to knit together east and west, at substantial economic cost, and to advance cross European cooperation, including in the areas of financial reform and resolution Europe is finally experiencing sustained economic improvement, and in my view Europe’s improved economy would be even stronger if available fiscal space was  used more fully, and this would relieve pressure to use monetary tools.  But it is also the case the Europe’s economy is much healthier than it was a few years ago. Where do you detect​ ​changes in US economic policy ​until now, following Donald Trump​’s election,​ and how is the prospect for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement being shaped? I believe that trade agreements like TTIP and TPP are very much in the interest of the United States.  High standard agreements that open markets for trade also advance progress on labor, health, environmental protection and business practices.  Since the US has historically held to high standards on our own, broadening the acceptance of high standards makes the US more competitive.  I fear that abandoning US leadership in these multilateral negotiations invites others to fill the void, with the likelihood of lower not higher standards as an outcome. The workplace is changing rapidly not just because of globalization, but even more because of advances in technology.  Our political debate tends to merge the two, perhaps because it is easier to blame the anger of an anxious public on others than it is to take a hard look inward and ask how we can address issues within our own economies. Each country and region faces its own challenges.  In the US, for example, we know that we can build a stronger foundation for economic growth by investing in our aging infrastructure, which would create good middle class jobs today and in the future.  We also know that we need to do better at education and training – for the young and not so young – so that we have skilled workers to fill jobs that are and will remain available.  We also need to maintain a responsible fiscal policy and pay for these investments, particularly with the emerging demographic challenge of an aging baby boom.  In a growing economy, we do not need big tax cuts that add to the deficit.  And in an economy where increasing shares of income go to returns on capital and highly compensated individuals, we should not roll back tax rates on the most fortunate.  We should fix a tax code that too frequently lets wealth accumulated from investments go untaxed and in a deficit neutral way reform our business tax code to eliminate loopholes and lower rates that drive businesses to leave the US. It would be reverse Robin Hood to cut health benefits for low wage workers to reduce taxes on high levels of investment income, yet that is exactly what pending legislation would do. Going forward, we will do better if the debate shifts to areas where we should be able to work together – things like rebuilding our infrastructure and training our workforce.  This would start to address the real source of the anxiety that is driving political expressions of anger.
FINANCE
shares17 views
FINANCE
shares17 views

Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will stress that fiscal improvement by Greece over the last few years lays the foundations for much needed future growth, while at the same time reiterating that reforms in the country must continue in order to attract investments. Lew’s comments are part of an interview to the Economist on the occasion of his address at a conference sponsored by the London-based media group in Athens on Monday. The conference’s title is “How fast can we grow?”, which will take place at a seaside resort southeast of Athens. The influential one-time treasury secretary in the Obama administration conceded that differences of opinion existed with the European side over macro-economic issues, while qualifying that preservation of the Atlantic alliance and the European Union was always a common position. Lew’s interview, in full: Do you detect a reverse in the course of the Greek economy? Or is it still too early? On the one hand, Grexit seems to have left the table, but on the other hand we still don’t see any growth rates that would point to a success story in Greece. Greece has clearly made progress. The most recent IMF review reflected that progress, as do measures of economic performance. After a period of better growth, the economy did flatten out, but improved fiscal conditions are a basis for better growth in the future, and a first step back into capital markets reflects that progress. Countries cannot simply cut or borrow their way to sustained growth. To reach sustained growth and improved income equality requires a balanced and disciplined approach that supports both economic demand and investment – which is why maintaining reforms and ultimately reaching an agreement on debt restructuring remain so important. With this balanced approach, Greece should be an attractive place to invest, and should see growing access to capital markets. There is still more work to be done, but with the continued determination of the Greek people and their elected government, and the ongoing cooperation of international partners, the future holds the promise of further economic improvement in this birthplace of democracy. As it emerges from the Eurogroup meeting of June 15​th in Luxembourg, the IMF will continue to participate actively in the Greek program, but will only disburse money if and when the medium term measures on the Greek debt​ are specified. How do you evaluate this development? Is it a good solution? I have long agreed with the IMF that debt restructuring is essential to achieve a long term solution that puts Greece back on a path to sustained economic growth. It is in the interest of Europe, as well as the IMF and the US, for Greece to be on an economic path that promotes domestic and geopolitical stability. I was encouraged that the Luxembourg meeting produced greater certainty that debt restructuring will be addressed, and in that context hopefully resolve the Greek financial situation so that it does not require constant revisiting. That in and of itself will help produce a better environment both for economic growth and political stability. Since Luxembourg, additional progress on the IMF review and an initial step into the private capital markets are both positive developments. In your opinion, where should the Greek side give more emphasis? On the demand for​ ​further​​ frontloaded debt relief or on the implementation of reforms that will improve competitiveness and increase GDP? What’s mo​re important? The best solution is not a choice between these options, but all of the above. A well balanced plan that maintains credible fiscal targets, economic reforms that promote sustained investment and hiring, and debt restructuring that produces sustainable flows should all be combined in a comprehensive plan. Until all the elements are addressed at the same time, there will be an expectation of additional rounds of negotiations and all parties will hold back because of that. Moreover, the sum is greater than the parts if done together, and the impact on confidence and investment would be greater. What is your experience through your cooperation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble​,​ and how do you assess the performance of the Eurozone today? Minister Schauble is a good friend, and I deeply value the role he has played to advance US and European cooperation to build a stronger and safer world. He and I sometimes have different macroeconomic views, but always stood together on the importance of maintaining the Atlantic Alliance and the European Union. On matters of mutual security and protecting sovereignty, one could ask for no better partner than Minister Schauble, whether addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supporting Iraq’s economy so battlefield gains against ISIL were not lost in a weakened economy, or working together to stop terrorist financing. In response to the refugee crisis, Germany relaxed fiscal demands, at home and through Europe, to promote an immediate and significant response. Minister Schauble was a leader within Germany to knit together east and west, at substantial economic cost, and to advance cross European cooperation, including in the areas of financial reform and resolution Europe is finally experiencing sustained economic improvement, and in my view Europe’s improved economy would be even stronger if available fiscal space was used more fully, and this would relieve pressure to use monetary tools. But it is also the case the Europe’s economy is much healthier than it was a few years ago. Where do you detect​ ​changes in US economic policy ​until now, following Donald Trump​’s election,​ and how is the prospect for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement being shaped? I believe that trade agreements like TTIP and TPP are very much in the interest of the United States. High standard agreements that open markets for trade also advance progress on labor, health, environmental protection and business practices. Since the US has historically held to high standards on our own, broadening the acceptance of high standards makes the US more competitive. I fear that abandoning US leadership in these multilateral negotiations invites others to fill the void, with the likelihood of lower not higher standards as an outcome. The workplace is changing rapidly not just because of globalization, but even more because of advances in technology. Our political debate tends to merge the two, perhaps because it is easier to blame the anger of an anxious public on others than it is to take a hard look inward and ask how we can address issues within our own economies. Each country and region faces its own challenges. In the US, for example, we know that we can build a stronger foundation for economic growth by investing in our aging infrastructure, which would create good middle class jobs today and in the future. We also know that we need to do better at education and training – for the young and not so young – so that we have skilled workers to fill jobs that are and will remain available. We also need to maintain a responsible fiscal policy and pay for these investments, particularly with the emerging demographic challenge of an aging baby boom. In a growing economy, we do not need big tax cuts that add to the deficit. And in an economy where increasing shares of income go to returns on capital and highly compensated individuals, we should not roll back tax rates on the most fortunate. We should fix a tax code that too frequently lets wealth accumulated from investments go untaxed and in a deficit neutral way reform our business tax code to eliminate loopholes and lower rates that drive businesses to leave the US. It would be reverse Robin Hood to cut health benefits for low wage workers to reduce taxes on high levels of investment income, yet that is exactly what pending legislation would do. Going forward, we will do better if the debate shifts to areas where we should be able to work together – things like rebuilding our infrastructure and training our workforce. This would start to address the real source of the anxiety that is driving political expressions of anger.

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will stress that fiscal improvement by Greece over the last few years lays the foundations for much needed future growth, while…

ECB may bring forward Greek bank stress test next year
FINANCE
shares44 views
FINANCE
shares44 views

ECB may bring forward Greek bank stress test next year

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

The European Central Bank may bring forward its stress test of Greek banks next year, finalising data well before Greece is due to exit its three-year, 86…

Greece Should Do Better on Transgender Legal Recognition
GREECE
shares62 views
GREECE
shares62 views

Greece Should Do Better on Transgender Legal Recognition

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

This week, Greece’s parliament will start debating proposed legislation to amend the country’s law on legal gender recognition – or the ability of transgender people to be…

Dijsselbloem: Greece must wrap up review rapidly to start talks on bailout exit
GREECE
shares48 views
GREECE
shares48 views

Dijsselbloem: Greece must wrap up review rapidly to start talks on bailout exit

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

Greece must wrap up an upcoming bailout review quickly to pave the way for a “clean” bailout exit next summer without further conditions beyond standard monitoring, Eurogroup…

Piraeus Port Authority reports higher profits, turnover for H1 2017
FINANCE
shares64 views
FINANCE
shares64 views

Piraeus Port Authority reports higher profits, turnover for H1 2017

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

The Cosco-managed Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) on Monday announced higher profits and turnover in its H1 2017 results. Specifically, turnover reached 520 million euros over the first…

Wet weather forecast throughout Greece
GREECE
shares58 views
GREECE
shares58 views

Wet weather forecast throughout Greece

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

Cloudy weather with rain and storms is forecast on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching up to 6 Beaufort. Wet weather is forecast throughout northern Greece, with temperatures…

Athens Newpapers Headlines
GREECE
shares47 views
GREECE
shares47 views

Athens Newpapers Headlines

Panos - Sep 26, 2017

GREECE
shares58 views

Olympiakos announces Lemonis as new coach

makis - Sep 25, 2017

Former coach of Olympiakos Takis Lemonis will take the helm of the club after the administration sacked coach Besnik Hasi following the champion’s defeat to AEK Athens…

Latest poll: ND leads SYRIZA by 13%
POLITICS
shares69 views
POLITICS
shares69 views

Latest poll: ND leads SYRIZA by 13%

makis - Sep 25, 2017

Major opposition party New Democracy (ND) holds a 13% point lead over ruling leftist party SYRIZA in the latest poll conducted by the University of Macedonia (PAMAK).…

Dijsselbloem says “clean exit” from memorandum for Greece the goal, but supervision will continue…
FINANCE
shares82 views
FINANCE
shares82 views

Dijsselbloem says “clean exit” from memorandum for Greece the goal, but supervision will continue…

makis - Sep 25, 2017

“We share a common and strong interest in completing the review quickly before the end of year”, said EuroGroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem during the joint press conference…

Chania the ultimate food lovers paradise!
GREECE
shares186 views
GREECE
shares186 views

Chania the ultimate food lovers paradise!

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

Set out on an exhilarating journey of gastronomic imagination to Chania or Haniá, one of the most desired Cretan destinations! A bouyátsa with cream, a delicious cream…

President Pavlopoulos: The democratic forces must demonstrate “absolute unity” on national goals
GREECE
shares72 views
GREECE
shares72 views

President Pavlopoulos: The democratic forces must demonstrate “absolute unity” on national goals

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

President Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated on Sunday from Tripolis in the Peloponnese that Greece’s course toward the future demands the absolute unity of all the democratic political forces…

Interview with Matthew Nimitz: The Kotzias initiative on CBMs with FYROM is an important step
DEFENCE
shares80 views
DEFENCE
shares80 views

Interview with Matthew Nimitz: The Kotzias initiative on CBMs with FYROM is an important step

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

The Special Representative of the United Nations for the FYROM name dispute between Greece and FYROM, Matthew Nimitz, spoke exclusively to Spiros Sideris immediately after his meeting…

Further support for Greek SMEs & MidCaps: EIB & Eurobank sign EUR 150 million financing agreement
FINANCE
shares94 views
FINANCE
shares94 views

Further support for Greek SMEs & MidCaps: EIB & Eurobank sign EUR 150 million financing agreement

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Eurobank have signed a EUR 150 million loan agreement to finance eligible projects undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises and midcaps…

Dijsselbloem-Mitsotakis meeting on Mon.
FINANCE
shares99 views
FINANCE
shares99 views

Dijsselbloem-Mitsotakis meeting on Mon.

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

Visiting Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem will meet in Athens on Monday with main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The meeting is set for the afternoon.…

Germans have a strong “footprint” in Greek tourism
FINANCE
shares124 views
FINANCE
shares124 views

Germans have a strong “footprint” in Greek tourism

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

German tourists steadily “feed” Greek tourism and are in the last few years in the top positions with regard to the most important visitors’ for our country.…

“Anonymous Greece” hacked the Electronic Auction System
GREECE
shares490 views
GREECE
shares490 views

“Anonymous Greece” hacked the Electronic Auction System

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

Out of service is the electronic auction site with the Anonymous hacker team claiming responsibility yesterday with a statement posted on facebook. The Electronic Auction System was…

German elections 2017: Angela Merkel wins fourth term, AfD gains third place
GREECE
shares85 views
GREECE
shares85 views

German elections 2017: Angela Merkel wins fourth term, AfD gains third place

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

Angela Merkel is heading for a fourth term as Germany’s chancellor after her centre-right CDU party and its CSU sister party won 32% of the vote, initial…

Weather forecast: Clouds
GREECE
shares76 views
GREECE
shares76 views

Weather forecast: Clouds

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

Clouds and northwesterly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Clouds and possibility of rain in the northern and western…

Athens Nespapers Headlines
GREECE
shares95 views
GREECE
shares95 views

Athens Nespapers Headlines

Panos - Sep 25, 2017

News