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Economy

Mitsotakis: Economic Growth and Social Welfare Brave Reforms and Prudent Considerations

December 18, 2022

ATHENS – “The Finance Minister answered comprehensively quoting figures and making a comparison between the four-year term of SYRIZA and the four-year term of New Democracy. If I did what you asked me to do and you constantly ask me to do, that is to call elections, this parliamentary confrontation would be our last one. You spoke for a total of 65 minutes and you spent only three minutes on telling us what you would do if the Greek people finally trusted you. You confirm that you were, are and will remain a protest party and not a party of power. A party of grumbling and not a party of results,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday during the debate on the 2023 budget in parliament.

He underlined that 2023 will be better than 2022, just as dynamic and just as hopeful, thus completing the first positive cycle of a truly new Greece, while he emphasized: “Economic growth but also social welfare. Brave reforms but also prudent considerations. These principles permeate our government’s fourth budget. Unfortunately, the third in conditions of international crises, but the first after 12 years with an exclusively national seal and outside the narrow framework of enhanced surveillance.”

Amid global turmoil, 2022 ends with GDP growth nearly twice the European average

Mitsotakis spoke of proof of progress of the national economy in recent years and reminded that in the midst of global turmoil, 2022 ends with GDP growth almost twice the European average.

From 2023, the economy returns to primary surpluses

At the end of 2023, public wealth will have increased by 45 billion euros compared to 2018. So we continue to respond to the international recession with growth. But not only with a quantitative increase, but also with a qualitative upgrade, the prime minister underlined making a reference to exports and foreign investments. “Behind these numbers is essentially the renaissance of Greek manufacturing,” he added.

He also underlined that a lesson of the pandemic was that dependence on sectors critical and sensitive to international fluctuations, such as tourism, can shake a society like the Greek one. At the same time, the same numbers show that growth also combats the biggest social injustice, which is unemployment.

“So employed people now reach 4,200,000. We have already added almost 300,000 new jobs since 2019 and 150,000 in 2022 alone. At the same time, the minimum wage has increased by 9.7% in 2022,” he explained.

Mitsotakis added that “at the end of 2023 the public debt will fall to 160% of GDP, showing the largest reduction in the EU. Moreover, 2022 will be the last year with a primary deficit. From 2023 the economy returns to primary surpluses. In other words, it will open the way to achieving investment grade rating.”

The prime minister underlined that “after 12 years, 1,700,000 pensioners will see an increase close to 8%. While another 1,000,000 will have an indirect benefit from the complete abolition of the solidarity levy. Relief, however, is also coming for 2,300,000 of our most vulnerable fellow citizens, who will be paid an allowance of 250 euros”.

From February and for 6 months the state will cover 10% of food costs

He added: “We are moving forward with a new initiative to support as many households as possible. This measure will apply for incomes up to 24,000 euros for a couple, with an additional 5,000 euros for each child. So that the middle class will also benefit from the new initiative. From next February and for 6 months, the State will cover 10% of every household’s purchases in supermarkets, but also in all food businesses: bakeries, butchers, fruit shops, pastry shops, fishmongers.”

Electricity and natural gas subsidies will continue

“On measures regarding the increased energy costs, we will continue to stand by society in the best possible way. A total of more than 8 billion euros will be allocated at the national level,” he said and added: “3.5 billion euros will be directed to households and 4.8 billion to businesses. The electricity and natural gas subsidies will continue while another 500 million euros will be allocated for the increased heating allowance.”

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