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Can Greece become EU's 'most business-friendly' country?

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Adonis Georgiadis, Greece's new minister for growth and investments in Athens on July 15, 2019.
Adonis Georgiadis, Greece's new minister for growth and investments in Athens on July 15, 2019. -
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Greece will become "the most business-friendly country of the European Union", new Minister for Growth and Investments Adonis Georgiadis told Euronews on Monday.

Georgiadis has been given one of the most challenging jobs in Greece by newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: revive the country's economic growth.

But in an exclusive interview with Euronews, he appeared undaunted by the task ahead.

"We are going to reduce taxation and we are going to vanish bureaucracy. We will have a new legislation in August that will change almost all legislation, in order to make doing business in this country very easy," Georgiadis said.

"We want to say to everybody: "if you want to earn money and make business, now is time to come to Greece"," he added.

Plans to cut taxation have raised eyebrows in Brussels. Greece's former creditors send the message that fiscal policy should remain tight to achieve the agreed budget targets but Georgiadis is not worried:

"The European Union wants to have a success in Greece. We will give success to the European Union. We are proud to be Greeks, we are proud to be Europeans," Georgiadis said.

Greece desperately needs investments to revive its economic growth, which the EU Commission forecasts to reach 2.2% this year — above the 1.4% forecast for the EU28.

However, it estimates that growth will reach 2.3% in 2020, while the new government is talking about 4%.

Unemployment, meanwhile, is still stubbornly high. In May, it was recorded at 18.1%, the highest in the bloc and nearly triple the EU28 average of 6.3%.

Mitsotakis, the leader of the conservative New Democracy party, won a decisive victory in this month's election securing a majority in the 300-seat parliament.

His campaign focused heavily on the economy and security in an election that was seen primarily as a battle for the middle-class, which was severely impacted by austerity measures.

Mitsotakis pledged to also increase wages, boost investment and employment as well as make the country's voice stronger on the European stage.