ATHENS – “The demographic problem is a time bomb at the foundations of the economy, the social security system and obviously for social cohesion,” Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis stated on Thursday, addressing an Economist conference held in cooperation with Hope Genesis under the auspices of the President of Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos.
Vroutsis noted that the figures on demographic trends were more than just a scientific issue of population renewal concerning only experts in the specific field. They were an important, perhaps even the most crucial and substantial factor, in the planning of policies for economic growth and social protection, he said.
According to the minister, in recent decades almost all developed countries face, more or less, the same problem: the ageing of the population. Greece is one of the countries whose demographic profile has an adverse forecast, since the population between 25 and 65 years old is projected to shrink by 35 percent in 2060. “The Greek population has been shrinking since 2011,” he said.
However, he noted that the demographic problem has been fully incorporated into policy planning for the labour market, social security and the social protection system in general.
Vroutsis also noted that measures were being taken to slow the demographic decline and support the institution of the family, with the government proceeding with a series of reforms for the insurance system. “Our aim is for all Greeks to once again trust in social security,” he said. Apart from the policy measures, Vroutsis claimed that the most persuasive answer to the demographic challenges can be given by releasing the Greek economy’s growth potential, by promoting healthy entrepreneurship, deepening structural changes, innovative results and the quality of human capital, in order to create many and good-quality jobs.
Vroutsis, among others, pointed out that the demographic problem can’t be addressed through migration flows.
However, he explained that Greek society is comprised of citizens with high sensitivity and a strong element of hospitality, adding that refugees will be “embraced” by the state through the new legislation and incorporated into society.