Greece sees aviation as key to rescuing itself from its economic predicament, the county's new minister of tourism Olga Kefalogianni says.
Speaking at the World Route Development Strategy Summit about the potential of the aviation industry to drive economic growth in the current financial climate, Kefalogianni said aviation and economies of nations are intrinsically linked. She added that this was especially the case in Greece, a country with over 2,000 islands and 39 airports, where tourism comprises 15% of the country's economic output.
Describing tourism as "a key pillar against the crisis", Kefalogianni said it is one of the few areas of the Greek economy that has remained strong and will continue to be one of the country's principal strengths. With financial markets speculating over whether Greece will exit the single European currency and revert to the drachma - something which might benefit its tourism industry - she said that the government is firmly committed to preventing this scenario.
"We are determined to work hard to introduce necessary regulatory, infrastructure and market reforms to promote aviation activity in Greece," she said.
Kefalogianni said the Greek government is intending to float its stakes in airports as part of a privatisation programme aimed at leveraging private investment to help restructure Greece's economy.