An official dinner in honor of President Christine Lagarde and the members of the Governing Council of the ECB was hosted yesterday by the Governor of the Bank of Greece Giannis Stournaras, in the context of hosting the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), in Athens, after 15 years.
The official dinner was graced by the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, accompanied by his wife Mareva Grabovski-Mitsotakis.
The Minister of Finance Kostis Hatzidakis and the Head of the Economic Office of the Prime Minister Alexis Patelis were also present.
Welcoming his official guests, the Governor of the Bank of Greece Giannis Stournaras said:
"It has been a long time, 15 years, since the last time we hosted the Board of Directors meeting in Athens. We all know what has happened over the years. It is now part of our shared history. The important thing is that today we are wiser, stronger, closer to each other, better prepared to face difficulties, more European."
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis then noted: “Today I am happy, and indeed proud, to welcome you and all your colleagues to a country that is on a very different path compared to those days. A country that is, I believe, in a process of fundamental economic transformation.
Greece is today one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, with increasing employment, reducing inequalities and improving public finances.
In recent years we have seen a significant improvement in the outwardness of our economy and how open it is, a vital factor for a small open economy to thrive within a monetary union. Not many know that Greek exports have grown, from about a fifth of GDP at the beginning of the crisis to about half of GDP today, a level close to that of the major export economies of the eurozone.
And our export base is highly diversified, being evenly split between goods and services, with significant differentiation between different categories of goods. The Greek economy is not based on just one industry, it does not depend only on tourism."
The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde thanked the Governor of the Bank of Greece Giannis Stournaras for the warm welcome and hospitality, noting:
"Greece can be an inspiration for all of us, as we are faced with an increasingly volatile world and the many challenges it brings. It is a model of resilience in the face of great challenges. And it is proof of the importance of 'belonging' to something bigger - our common European destiny".
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) meets on Wednesday 25 October and Thursday 26 October at the Bank of Greece.
After the end of the meeting, there will be a press conference during which the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde, assisted by the Vice-President of the ECB Luis de Guindos and the Governor of the Bank of Greece Giannis Stournara, will explain the decisions on monetary policy.
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