Greece could follow U.S. and deregulate to push growth:
Commerce Secretary Ross
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[September 11, 2018]
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece
could learn a lesson from the United States and deregulate its economy
to push for stronger growth as it emerges from three international
bailouts, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview
broadcast on Tuesday.
Greece exited the biggest bailout in economic history last month after
nine years of strict supervision by its foreign lenders - its euro zone
partners and the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.
"Greece has made great strides getting out of the bailout, the next step
is how to get the economy on a real growth path," Ross told Greek state
Greece's economy has been recovering after a deep recession that shrank
it by a quarter and drove unemployment to nearly 28 percent. National
output has expanded in the last six quarters, helping the jobless rate
to come down to 19.1 percent.
On an annual basis, Greece's economic expansion decelerated to 1.8
percent in the second quarter from an upwardly revised 2.5 percent in
the first three months of the year.
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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross meets with Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras (not pictured) at his office, a day before the
opening of the annual International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki,
Greece, September 7, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
"I think 2.0 percent is not going to solve Greece's problems, it won't solve the
unemployment problem," Ross said. "What we did in the U.S. was we got rid of a
lot of regulations to help businesses grow."
As a result, he said, capital spending and companies hiring of employees "went
right through the sky".
Ross said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a good relationship with U.S.
"He (Tsipras) is as pro-American as we are pro-Greece. That's a very important
bond of friendship. He got on quite well with President Trump."
Ross has been in Thessaloniki in northern Greece, the host city of an
international trade fair.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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