July 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Confession of K. Mitsotakis: “The high cost will remain – we will never return to the prices of three years ago”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted in a radio interview today that high prices will be a constant reality for citizensstating: “We won’t go back to the prices we had three years ago.”!

The prime minister repeated earlier statements about raising wages and promised “price deflation.” How this fits in with the statement that prices will remain the same is unclear; apparently these words went beyond the scope of the text written by the speakers.

But here it must be said that if wages increase by 5%, and food prices by… 50%, then mathematically a citizen with an average income will not be able to feed himself for a week in a maximum of three years. Logically, a resident of a country must have an income that exceeds his expenses, and if this does not happen, he will not be able to survive.

Annual report of the Labor Institute GSEE describes the picture… not so rosy for Greek households, as it shows that Greece ranks first place in Europe to reduce real income received from work.

“The combined effect of inflation and real wages lagging behind labor productivity is that real average hourly wages (in purchasing power standards – PPS) in 2023 will be the lowest in the EU-27, says the report. – In particular, Greece has the lowest hourly wages in the EU27 in the Construction, Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities, Health and Social Activities and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sectors.

Overall, during the period 2019-2023, Greece recorded the largest percentage decline in real income from work (8.3%) compared to all EU-27 countries. Thus, not only does Greece fall short of the EU27 in terms of social sustainability, but it is also rapidly diverging from northern European countries and regional states that have developed rapidly during the same period.”

Speaking about the introduction of a 33 percent upfront solidarity contribution for oil refineries, based on windfall profits, the Prime Minister said that budget revenue would amount to almost 300 million euros and would be distributed to vulnerable people, especially pensioners, at the end of the year. “Help will be provided at Christmas, especially to pensioners who did not see an increase from the abolition of the personal difference,” – he said.

At the same time, the Prime Minister paid attention to increasing wages, although he admitted that “the increase was absorbed by rising prices.” In particular, he noted: “We must not forget where we were in 2019, and how much attention is paid to nominal wage growth. We have already increased the minimum and average wages. Enterprises are forced to pay higher wages to reach workers.”

Regarding the taxation of freelancers, Mitsotakis reiterated that “the central philosophy of the solution will not change”although he is considering making improvements. “No freelancer expects to earn minimum wage.”he commented.

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