“I am very respectful of all the achievements of the government, the Parliament and especially the Greek citizens,” EU Commissioner responsible for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Thursday in Greek parliament.
“Although things have improved, there are still serious issues that need to be addressed, such as high unemployment, especially among young people, therefore the project is not completed. But it is striking to see the efforts that have been made here and to see the completion of the fiscal adjustment programme,” she said.
“It is the beginning of a new effort and a new era for Greece,” noted the European Commissioner and stressed that “competition in the markets can play a role that will make people feel that the game is played on equal terms.”
Vestager informed the deputies about the European Commission’s work on enhancing competition. Regarding state subsidies and their control, she pointed out that the Commission’s aim is to avoid distortions in trade between countries and to guarantee that competition operates in a way that both small and large players behave in a fair way.
The Commissioner spoke about the actions undertaken in Greece, such as the restructuring of the Hellenic Railways (OSE), actions at regional airports, the energy market and the agreement to reduce the cost of renewables, as well as to ensure energy supply in an environmentally friendly way.
Particular reference has been made to the significant contribution of national competition authorities in very critical sectors such as food, construction, banking. This is why it has been agreed to further strengthen the national competition authorities to ensure both their independence and the resources they need for their work she said.
“When citizens and businesses pay taxes, they need to feel that the big player will have to adhere to the competition rules and that he pays like anybody else. We do our best to ensure that just as a small and a large company are operating on the right terms, so do companies such as Google, Amazon. In the EU, the rules must be respected by all, and this is the EU’s rule of justice,” the European Commissioner said.