THESSALONIKI (Sputnik) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his belief that the government has managed to change the international community's view on Greece, noting that the image of Grexit has been replaced with 'Grinvest'.
"Greece has opened a new page. We are leaving Grexit and heading to Grinvest," Tsipras said on Saturday in an opening speech at the 82th Thessaloniki International Fair.
The prime minister noted that recent visits of French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama, as well as his own visits to China proved that Greece's international image was restoring.
Tsipras said that in first half of 2017 the economy growth rate has totalled 0.8 percent, adding that it was expected to rise to 2 percent by the end of year. He noted that last year the direct investments have been the highest in a decade, while in 2017 the situation would be even better. The prime minister explained that in first four months the flow of direct investments had totalled 1.4 billion euros ($2.2 billion).
Tsipras also noted the growth of tourists inflow among positive achievements, saying that it provided nearly 20 percent of revenue and almost 1 million jobs. The prime minister also pointed out the significant increase in unemployment and restoring of agricultural products exports after Russia's embargo, imposed in 2014 as a retaliatory measure to the Western sanctions.
Since 2010, when the Greek debt crisis erupted, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the EU Stabilization Fund and the International Monetary Fund agreed on three loan programs for Greece amounting to 326 billion euros ($344.6 billion) in exchange for wide-ranging economic reforms in the country.