ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis marked the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by meeting seven former drug users who have successfully beaten their addiction at the Maximos Mansion, government sources said on Saturday.
The meeting was held on Friday and the premier's discussion with the group focused on the difficulties they encountered during drug rehabilitation and the discrimination that some still faced as they entered the stage of social reintegration.
The prime minister referred to the "huge personal struggle" fought by those dependent on drugs and said the courage of those that overcame the great difficulties "must be highlighted as an example to be followed."
Talking about the "stigma" that recovered addicts said they still faced in society, Mitsotakis noted that this was a public discussion in order to "tear down the walls" of prejudice, adding that the goal of the social state was to help the most vulnerable.
"There is no prejudice. Everyone can enter this office and we are open to everyone, especially so for those that face the greatest difficulties," he said.
He also asked them, based on their experience, to suggest what actions could help improve prevention, increase the state's contribution to drug rehabilitation and boost programmes to find them employment.
"I am interested in understanding how people that have undergone the difficult process of detoxification can re-enter the job market. I am willing – and we are moving in this direction – to offer very attractive incentives to employers," Mitsotakis said, noting that steady work not only guaranteed an income but also the satisfaction of making a useful contribution to society.
He said the government had already taken steps so that the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) will increase the subsidy offered to businesses that employ staff belonging to vulnerable social groups to 90 pct from 70 pct, while increasing the maximum monthly subsidy from 700 euros to 800 euros for full-time work and to 400 euros for part-time work.