Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, answering questions during a press conference on the theme “Economy, development, labor market”, said that the rising cost of living is an issue that worries the Greek society more than others, for obvious reasons.
“We saw natural gas tariffs that were ten times higher than they were two years ago. Accordingly, the international economy faced a phenomenon that required action at the level of central banks of all advanced economies. Interest rates rose to contain inflation, and countries resorted to using all the opportunities offered by their state budgets to support households and businesses, especially the most vulnerable,” Mitsotakis said.
He noted that “prices are still high, but the latest report ELSTAT He noted that during the crisis of imported inflation, the government took a number of measures that supported disposable income and neutralized a number of “inflationary bombs”, the most important of which was high electricity prices.
Speaking of speculation, he noted that market scrutiny is “not easy,” but “for the first time, we have laws and regulatory tools at our disposal that allow us to scrutinize the market more effectively than in the past.” He also said that there is a provision against profit-making that provides for “very heavy fines.”
When asked by the press about taxes and whether indirect taxes would also be reduced if the government was re-elected, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis replied: taxes”. He noted that all taxes that the government promised to cut before the elections were reduced. In addition, some taxes were reduced that were not mentioned during the election campaign, as well as significantly reduced social security contributions for employees and employers.
“If I had to sum up, I would say that we have fully fulfilled what we promised before the elections, when I said that [лидер основной оппозиции SYRIZA-Прогрессивный альянс Алексис] Tsipras destroyed Greek society and especially the middle class, and we will return to the middle class everything that Tsipras took from them,” the prime minister said.
Unemployment among women and youth has fallen significantly
When asked whether the next four-year term will be one of income and wage increases, and whether the acceleration in minimum wage increases (April 1 instead of May 1) is linked to the timing of the elections, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis replied in the negative. “Because the tourist season starts on April 1, and since there are too many workers in this industry receiving the minimum wage, it would be right for the increase to cover the entire tourist season,” he explained.
He also explained: “The increase in wages is primarily due to the increase in the productivity of the Greek economy. As our economy becomes more competitive, more extroverted, as it produces more additional wealth, there will be business opportunities. But the labor market itself will require higher wages for workers. Let’s take tourism, for example.
He also stressed: “We are not interested in offering our fellow citizens, especially young people, any job. We prefer these jobs to be stable and better paid, so we have legislated a number of incentives.” With regard to the minimum wage, he noted that the increase that had been legislated was significant.
In response to a question about unemployment, especially among youth and women, which noted that the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, the Prime Minister noted that this view was not supported by the data. “Women’s unemployment in EU in the period 2019-2022 decreased by an average of 10.3%, and in Greece – by 29.8%. We’re starting from a low base, but the decline in female unemployment has been far greater than in any other country, he said. – And among young people, the decline in unemployment in the age group of 15-29 years in the EU was 7.5%, while in Greece – 17.5%. Let me stress again that we are starting from a higher base. But the decline was significant in both of these demographics, not negligible.”
Mitsotakis also emphasized that these are jobs with more added value, “more sustainable and more in line with the competitiveness models of the Greek economy, which we work for and try to serve.”
The image of Greece abroad is now very positive
Greece’s image abroad is very positive, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at a press conference on Monday. Referring to his recent visit to Davos, he stressed that the country is showing great interest in investment. “Investment, of course, means more and better jobs,” he added. However, he stressed that this good picture “should not lead us to believe that there are no problems in Greek society”, and assured that it was the ongoing policy that created the additional fiscal space needed to provide targeted support to Greeks experiencing financial difficulties.