Nicholas Anstee, Lord Mayor of the City of London, is to meet Greece’s prime minister, George Papandreou, and other leading figures from Greek financial circles charged with tackling the country’s economic crisis when he visits Athens next week with Maritime London for the biennial Posidonia exhibition, writes Christopher Mayer.
Among those present at the talks on the turmoil in Greece will be the president of the Athens Stock Exchange.
“The City has a great relationship, built up over many years, and we are not going to cut those ties,” said Alderman Anstee, insisting that the Greek presence in London, undermined in recent years by tax threats by the Blair and Brown Labour governments, would continue.
Alderman Anstee said the new UK chancellor, George Osborne, was being made fully aware of the importance of the Greek presence in London and the UK as a whole, and of its support to many business activities in the shipping and other sectors.
“The UK has to have an attractive tax base to encourage business to come here and bring people in to run their businesses. The UK has the highest corporate tax in the entire G20 countries and the target is to make the UK more competitive,” he said.
Alderman Anstee’s visit to Posidonia to promote UK-Greek ties and the City’s role as a leading global financial centre, is one of around 20 foreign trips undertaken by the Lord Mayor. The purpose is to encourage growing economies to raise capital in London, open up new markets for City businesses and open doors at the highest levels for the accompanying business delegation.