The announcement that Microsoft will set up a data centre in Greece is perhaps the first truly optimistic news in the last months.
The coronavirus may have halted economic growth yet the key to the country’s future is clearly investment.
Only that can position Greece favourably in the new era and allow it to stand on its feet after a decade of trials and tribulations.
Deals such as the one with Microsoft not only create many new jobs but also open the way for the return of the brain drain generation which since the start of the pandemic began to view the prospect of repatriation ever more seriously.
Microsoft’s decision to bolster its presence in Greece demonstrates that such goals are not unattainable.
If the country manages to transform itself into an investment hub a return to the crisis era will seem like a remote prospect.
Even the company’s timing is significant as Athens gained the trust of markets and multi-nationals.
These investments must aim at modernising the country.
Tourism is not enough.
The PM said yesterday that, “Technology is the catalyst for economic growth.”
The same stands true for the environment.
That is why Greece is obliged to implement the necessary reforms so that it can lure investments in the context of the green transition.
The government has announced that it will earmark for this purpose ten billion euros in EU pandemic recovery funding, money from the Union’s just transition fund, and funding from the 2021-2027 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).
If all that materialises it will be the government’s greatest legacy.