Former Prime Minister of Sweden Mr. Göran Persson was the guest of honor and main speaker at the 1st Greece-Sweden Business Forum. Mr Göran Persson, who served as Prime Minister of Sweden for a decade, took over the helm of the Scandinavian country in 1996, with the economy "in a terrible situation". Before addressing an inspirational speech at the Forum, in an interview in Greece's leading newspaper Kathimerini, he explained the main steps that his government took to bring the deficit under 3 percent, halve the unemployment rate and bolster Sweden's productivity rate in Greece's leading daily newspaper Kathimerini.

When he was asked on the first steps he took towards changing the situation of the Swedish economy he replied:

"It was a terrible situation. Sweden was under severe international pressure because our debt was skyrocketing and our deficit was around 12 percent of GDP. No one trusted us and interest rates were extremely high at 500 percent. On top of that there was growing unemployment and no belief at all in the future. It was a severe crisis. In many respects it was roughly the same situation as the start of the Greek crisis. Greece and Sweden are two different countries with different political traditions and different economies, but what we have in common is that we are highly dependent on our international relations, how other countries look upon us. I have been able to follow how the international community has looked at Greece and the Greek economy over the past 10 years and it's roughly the same situation in that perspective."

You can read the whole interview here