Greece is ‘two-thirds of the way through its crisis,’ says the country’s Deputy Prime Minister

But Evangelos Venizelos added 'we need more GDP'

Athens

Greece is now two-thirds of the way through its crisis, but still needs support in growing the economy following years of contraction, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister has said.

Asked his view of the economic situation, Evangelos Venizelos told The Independent: “The official answer is that we have before us less than one-third of the crisis… we have behind us more than two-thirds of the total effort.”

But he added: “The real answer is that we need constructive co-operation with our institutional partners to reconstruct, to re-establish the real economy. We need more GDP.”

He said that the country had been though six years of economic crisis – including two years before Greece accepted the reality of its situation, and that it now desperately needed the institutions of the EU and IMF to allow it to carry out growth-boosting measures instead of yet more fiscal tightening.

He said: “It’s very difficult to achieve our target through negative growth or through a very small positive growth. We need something more. Something more like specific programmes in order to end the unemployment situation.”

Economists are tentatively talking about signs that Greece’s economic decline is slowing. GDP is expected to shrink a further 4.5 per cent this year and possibly even grow by 0.6 per cent next year, albeit from a very low base.

Mr Venizelos, who is also Foreign Minister and leader of the Pasok socialist party, declared that London, not Switzerland, is now the biggest destination for his country’s tax avoiders.

Having himself been criticised in the past for not doing enough to prevent tax avoidance, he said that he had negotiated an end to Swiss banking secrecy and that, for wealthy Greeks seeking to avoid taxes “now it’s not Switzerland [that is] the first destination. The first destination is always London.”

Greek millionaires have made up a large proportion of foreign investors buying properties in Belgravia and other expensive areas of the capital, while they have also been using the City’s banking services.

Meanwhile, the Greek government has come under criticism for its failure to catch wealthy tax avoiders.

The former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou is facing trial after allegedly removing the names of relatives from a list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts handed to officials in the country by France.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine