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Hardouvelis: we are hard at work to avoid the past

There has been significant progress in the ongoing talks with the troika of Greece's international lenders, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Monday at the Greek Economy Conference organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in Athens.

"We are working hard to avoid a return to the uncertainty of the past," Hardouvelis stressed, noting that agreement was reached on several issues and the Greek side was working to "close" on the rest, while the ultimate aim was to ensure the minimum of burdens and more prospects for all.
The minister said that the Greek economy had now stabilised and was returning to growth, while predicting that growth rates could literally take off after the election of the new Greek president and the end of the current uncertainty. He said emphasis will continue to be placed on restoring the Greek economy's competitiveness and a new model for economic growth that was not based on domestic consumption but on an open, export-oriented economy focused on sectors with potential for growth and extroversion, such as tourism, energy, pharmaceuticals, research and technology, shipping and others.

Referring to the banking system, he said that after Greek banks successfully passed stress tests they must now focus on their main mission, which was the finance the real economy. 
In terms of reforms, Hardouvelis said that the majority had already been carried out and Greece was now at the "tail-end" of their implementation. He said that Greece must now place emphasis on political stability and continuing reforms on all levels in order to complete the effort to exit the crisis.