ATHENS – Elections in Greece must be held by July – there’s talk it could be as soon as April just ahead of Easter – but otherwise it’s up to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said Minister of State Akis Skertsos.
“We are now in an elections year, having completed, I believe, a successful term of governance, which has managed to bring significant results for our country as regards incomes, investments and the economy,” he told MEGA TV.
“It is the Prime Minister’s exclusive privilege to decide when the elections will be held and this is something we should respect… the elections will be held at the right time, the prime minister… will make the announcements,” he said.
Mitsotakis faces a battle against the major opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Reliance which branded itself from the Radical Left after taking a beating in July, 2019 snap elections that saw the ouster of then-premier Alexis Tsipras.
With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, the New Democracy government is trying to accelerate an economic recovery but has been dealing with high inflation and soaring prices, especially for supermarket shopping.
Skertsos said that’s the fault of international pressures, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that also saw energy prices skyrocket and he said that, “Greece was in a better state than the other European countries, as inflation is dropping faster in Greece and the measures we have taken have greatly contributed to this. Measures both for the support of incomes and to invigorate competition.”
The government has pumped more than 9 billion euros ($9.62 billion) into subsidies for electricity bills and state aid for gasoline costs and persuaded supermarkets to set aside 51 essential items at lower prices.
But Mitsotakis also backed away from pledges to consider lowering a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food although, on the back of tourism, the economy in 2022 grew some 6 percent.