ATHENS – “I think it is now clear that the collective benefit from a bold course of reforms is what we are seeing: it is 6% growth, it is the de-escalation of unemployment, it is an increase in investments, it is the gradual improvement of wages and it is also the surplus which this growth creates, so that we can exercise a serious social policy,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said late on Wednesday in a discussion with the director of the Boston Consulting Group, Vassilis Antoniadis, during an event of the Alumni Associations of Georgetown and Harvard Universities in Greece.
He also underlined that there is no growth without an increase in the standard of living for everyone and that the challenge is for this decade to be the decade of a great leap. Regarding the elections, he said that getting an absolute majority in the second ballot was an entirely feasible goal.
“We now have tangible results and evidence that we were able to implement what we planned, even though we faced a series of very large external crises, which certainly made our lives more difficult. I believe that we were able to turn some of them into a substantial opportunity to move even faster with ideas and plans that we had already launched,” the prime minister added.
He also pointed out that for many it was a surprise that the Greek economy is today growing much faster than the European average. This is not only true for ’21 but also for ’22, and it will be true for ’23, he said. And I think the big challenge is to be able to keep this distance from the European average with a growth that will be sustainable, but will also have very specific quality characteristics, he said.
Mitsotakis added that these qualitative characteristics also hide his vision for Greece in 2030. That is, an extroverted, innovative, environmentally friendly and fair growth.
He also underlined that for him there is no growth without an increase in the standard of living for everyone, especially for the low-paid, because wages in Greece are still low compared to the European average. However, it is much easier to explain this plan today to foreign investors, to mobilise funds from abroad as well as domestically, because growth must be fuelled primarily by investments. Greece had a huge investment gap, it got worse during the crisis years and needed to be bridged, he said.
Referring to the long-term goals for Greece, after a 10-year crisis, the prime minister noted: “The challenge is for this decade to be the decade of a great leap. And to really be able to see ahead of other countries, not how Greece will be but how the world will be. Because if we don’t understand what the world will be like, we can’t easily place Greece in this changing world.”