A working lunch today, at the invitation of former EESC President Dimitris Dimitriadis, with a delegation of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce, headed by its President, Vassilis Korkidis. On our side, our President, Staffan Nilsson (in the picture with Korkidis), Vice-President Jacek Krawczyk, former Vice-President, Irini Pari and REX Section Chairman, Sandy Boyle. Korkidis explained that the delegation had come to Brussels to correct the misleading impression given by media coverage of the situation in Greece. Yes, things were grim, with tax over 40 per cent and wages slashed by 30 %, two-thirds of people living off of their savings, 1 million unemployed and 28% of the population under the poverty line. But most people were not rioting and over 80 per cent of the Greek people continued to favour membership of the EU and of the euro because they believed, despite all the pain, that it was the best alternative. Certainly, he insisted, no Greek businessman wanted a return to the drachma. The emphasis now must be on facilitating growth and enterprise. The Confederation had identified eight ‘rising star’ areas of economic activity (including tourism, wholesale retail, east-west trade, ports, shipping, recycling, agriculture and solar energy) where Greece had a comparative advantage and should be pushing hard. But, he acknowledged, all this was against a grim backdrop: by 2021 the Greek economy will be where it was in 2009.