Greece is in the final stretch of a long period of strict supervision, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, speaking at a regional development conference for the Ionian Islands in Corfu.
"After seven difficult, grey, painful years, our country is finally in the last stretch towards its liberation from the yoke of supervision," he told attendees. "Today we can say that the horizon is open for a new era," he added.
Commenting on the recovering economic activity in the region, he said 2.45 million tourists visited the Ionian Islands in 2016, registering 21.5 million overnight stays. In 2017, the data shows arrivals increased compared to last year and the region shares first place along with Crete in receipts per visitor and receipts per night, he added.
Tsipras said this increase has led to more investments in the region, citing data by the ministry of tourism which he said has received applications for licenses and investments in 15 hotels in Corfu, two in Cephalonia, two in Lefkada and one in Zakynthos.
Turning his attention to the recent talks between the government and the institutions on energy issues, he said that the the country's main power utility PPC will retain its public character.
"PPC retains its undeniable public and social character and remains the main pillar of the energy market under the new institutional environment," he said.
"Contrary to the previous government's plans for a 'small PPC', its production base remains intact, with the sole exception of a part of the lignite units, which, in any case, should gradually be a disinvestment as part of the compan's strategic plan for a switch to renewable energy sources," he added.
Continuing on the issue of energy, he said the region of Ionian Islands will play an important role in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, noting that big players in the international market have expressed their willingness to actively participate in such projects.