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Politics

Mitsotakis: New Democracy is Consistent with its Pre-Election Commitments 

ATHENS – “We must not forget that in 2009, when the crisis hit us, Greece was close to the European average in terms of per capita income, then it collapsed and now it is struggling to catch up with Europe. This policy has been followed by our government consistently since 2009,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday in an interview broadcast by all TV channels.

The prime minister referred to the digital state, the payment of pensions and the postal vote, among others.

Referring to the convergence with Europe, he noted: “Convergence with Europe gains importance in view of next Sunday’s elections. We have proven as a government that we can negotiate for the benefit of the citizens and for a stronger Europe. Greece wants strong representation in Brussels and Strasbourg and I believe it will have it.”

Mitsotakis also referred to the new judicial map, the increases, the interventions in tax policy, the absorption of resources from the Recovery Fund.

“These are all very important reforms. New Democracy is absolutely consistent with its pre-election commitments and has three years ahead of it. We will be judged in the elections of 2027. One of our central campaign commitments was to raise wages. The minimum wage is about to reach 950 euros and the average wage will exceed 1,500 euros. All of these are examples of a government that consistently implements its policy. When I judge that changes are needed I proceed with them. Look at the Ministry of Civil Protection, we have more policing in the neighborhoods and we have successfully dealt with the issues of fan violence,” he underlined.

Asked about unemployment, he said that unemployment fell from 17% to 10% and was the first priority of the New Democracy party in 2019. He emphasized that wages are increasing at the same time.

“This is also the success of our economic policy. Investments are made, and there is a greater demand for better paid workers,” Mitsotakis said.

“‘We have a very successful policy on labour issues. We will become Europe in terms of average unemployment in the coming years,” he added.

Asked about the issue of high prices, the prime minister clarified that he will not reduce the VAT and explained that the budget cannot bear it, and that there will be a large fiscal gap.

“There is no way that the country will return to times of large deficits. This is the reason why the VAT is not reduced,” the Greek premier explained.

In response to a question about North Macedonia and whether he will raise an issue for the neighboring country at the NATO summit, Mitsotakis noted: “I expect the Prime Minister of North Macedonia to publicly acknowledge, explicitly and categorically, that he respects the Prespa Agreement and that the name of his country is North Macedonia erga omnes, and that the name should apply to all. It will be the first opportunity to be in the same forum as the new prime minister of North Macedonia. Of course, I will raise the issue at the NATO summit and encourage the leadership of the neighbors not to jeopardize their European course.

I believe that logic will prevail. For us, the agreement has many negative points, but one of its important dimensions was one name that applies in all cases. We will demand absolute compliance with this matter. And we are not in this alone. The EU and the US say the same thing. I believe that eventually logic will prevail and North Macedonia will return to the difficult path of convergence with the European acquis and Greece will be the first to support it.”

With reference to relations with Turkiye, he said that we have no progress on the issue of continental shelf demarcation and EEZ, which is the main difference that goes back 50 years. “I note the significant improvement in Greek-Turkish relations that has a substantial practical impact,” he said addng that we have had no violations for 15 months and this is the result of a sincere effort to bring the two countries closer, as well as in the migration issue. But he emphasized that the problems remain. “I am not naive, Turkiye’s policy does not change from one moment to the other. There is a revisionism in Turkiye, but Greece does not discuss sovereignty issues guaranteed by international treaties,” Mitsotakis stated.

“But let’s stick to the improvement in our relations,” the prime minister said.

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