ATHENS – As this year’s Orthodox Easter approaches, Europe and Greece are both facing great difficulties as a result of the global challenges that started with the pandemic and the health crisis and are now continuing with the war in Ukraine, government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said on Monday, during the first press briefing of the Orthodox Holy Week.
The repercussions of these crises affected and continued to affect Greece, along with the rest of Europe, while their cost was highest for the financially weaker members of society, who were now finding it hard to get by, he said.
“In this onerous environment, the government and society are walking side by side in full solidarity and with full awareness of the situation, without leaving anyone behind,” he added.
“Political humanitarianism is the significant difference that separates the free world from that of absolutism, both within and outside Europe,” Oikonomou stressed, adding that the government will exhaust every available means to support society and the economy.
The government had not “surrendered to the crisis” and has proved wrong those making dire predictions, Economou said, referring to the rapid fall in unemployment and adding that a similar policy will be adopted in the face of the wave of price hikes.
“We have so far made more than 4.0 billion euros available and will continue the support for as long as this crisis lasts,” he said.
Referring to main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance’s conference, he said it had shown “the distance that separates the main opposition party from the needs of living society and the problems of today.”
“The government, by contrast, is daily striving to keep Greece upright, with political pragmatism and an open mind, to lead it safely through the global crises, not with words but with a plan and tangible results,” the spokesperson said.
He referred to the prime minister’s initiatives to shape a European policy for energy and the announcement on his part that if there is no European support plan, then there will be a national support plan for electricity prices.
“It is the prime minister’s decision to exhaust every available euro, to find ways in which to support society, preserving the necessary fiscal balance and keeping resources and reserves for the coming period. Because only in this way can we turn away from the storm to calmer waters,” he added.
Oikonomou outlined the support measures that will apply during April, saying that the total amount of the measures came to 324 million euros and concerned 1.7 million beneficiaries, 1.4 million households with more than 3.2 million members. He also noted that the government focuses on the development of actions and support for the younger generation.