Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with Australian Secretary General of the OECD Mathias Cormann

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The Australian Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mathias Cormann unveiled OECD’ plan to set up a population centre on the island of Crete at his meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens on Tuesday.

Prime Minister of Greece and the Secretary-General of OECD signed a memorandum of understanding for the founding of the centre and Mr Mitsotakis underlined that Crete is the ideal place for studying populations as Greece received about one million people in 1922, while today it is one of the EU member states dealing with the migration issue.

The prime minister referred to the OECD survey on Greece, saying that despite the fact that 2022 was a difficult year due to the energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the conclusion of the report is noteworthy as it says that, “during these troubled times, the Greek economy exceeded the expectations and the forecasts made by the organisation and proved to be the positive surprise of Europe on many fronts.”

 “Greece’s robust and targeted policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic secured a strong and rapid recovery. The government’s ‘Greece 2.0’ recovery plan is already laying the strong foundations for Greece’s ability to tackle future challenges,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said, presenting the latest OECD Economic Survey of Greece.

“Ensuring the ambitious reform and investment agenda is fully implemented will help to further improve opportunities for businesses and households and will be essential for the Greek economy to navigate past the current headwinds towards a path of sustainable growth.”

Structural reforms are the key to continued economic and social progress, the Survey says, as high energy and other key commodity prices, especially since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, are slowing Greece’s recovery. Inflation peaked at 12.1% in October 2022 – its highest rate in 25 years.

The new thematic centre of the OECD in Crete for Population will be actively supported by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Municipality of Chania and the Economic Forum of Delphi.

Their cooperation was sealed with the memorandum of understanding signed on Monday evening, in a central hotel in Athens, by the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, the Mayor of Chania, Panagiotis Simandirakis, and the President of the Delphi Economic Forum, Symeon Tsomokos.

In fact, within the framework of the memorandum, the OECD, the Economic Forum of Delphi and the Municipality of Chania announced the establishment of the International Crete Conference for Dialogue on Population, which will be held annually based at the centre’s facilities in Crete, as well as a series of accompanying events for the individual issues concerning its priorities.

In his address, the OECD Secretary-General emphasised that the OECD Population Centre in Crete will utilise and promote the organisation’s knowledge on population dynamics and its link to economic development.

Further highlighting the importance of the centre, Mathias Cormann emphasised that it will serve as a hub for capacity building, learning and political dialogue.

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