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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-04

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece-EMU-celebration

  • [01] Greece-EMU-celebration

    04/01/2001 14:23:14

    Greece's EMU entry signals the start of a new era with speedier growth, full employment and social cohesion and prosperity, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Thursday.

    Addressing a special event to celebrate the country's participation in the eurozone, held at the Zappeion Hall in the presence of President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, government ministers and diplomatic officials, Simitis said that "our wider aim is to achieve real convergence in every growth sector with the rest of EU."

    "We need to reach that level," he said.

    In his message Simitis noted that EMU participation was the beginning of a a new stability and development period that would offer creative and growth opportunities.

    "Greece upgrades its political status in an international scene, strengthens its ability to influence decision-making, acquires new possibilities and strengthens its economy. The introduction of the euro currency would help in greater transparency in prices, lesser bureaucracy and more simple transactions," Simitis said.

    "These changes would be felt mostly by early 2002 when national banknotes and coins would be replaced by euro notes and coins," he said.

    "We turn a page in the country's history, we leave behind us an era of lost opportunities and underdevelopment and we move ahead seeking for the better with a vision for a more developed Greece, a fairer society. We are consious of the problems and challenges, but our course shows that when we plan something we succeed," he noted.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, inaugurating the event said Greece's participation in the eurozone offered the chance to upgrade the country's public administration and

    to succeed in an effort for social convergence.

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