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Politics

PM Mitsotakis Meets with EU Executive VP Vestager

ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Monday with visiting European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager at Maximos Mansion, government headquarters, in Athens.

They discussed the upcoming formal end of Greece’s enhanced surveillance status and the progress achieved in several sectors in recent years, as well as protecting healthy competition, Europe’s energy and food supply security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, managing inflationary pressure currently affecting the entire EU, and progress in implementing Greece’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0”.

“What Greece has achieved in recent years is truly impressive,” Vestager, who is also commissioner for competition, said at the start of the meeting, adding that it is unfortunate that the multifaceted crisis of war, energy, inflation and climate does not allow the proper celebration that should follow the news of the enhanced surveillance’s end. She also spoke of how Greece’s turnaround was initially doubted by many, but the Greek government worked hard to achieve this, with the help of sacrifices by the Greek people.

On his part, Mitsotakis said that “every time this period comes around – end of June, start of July – we are reminded of what happened in 2015 and how close we came to total destruction.” He added that the price paid for the previous government’s choices was heavy but, as Vestager noted, Greek society proved remarkably resilient.

“We also proved that it is possible to change from a low rate of development to a higher one, while taking care to have that development be inclusive, dealing with young people’s concerns that development is digitally smart and environmentally viable,” he noted. The government, he stressed, wants “development that will come from investments and innovation, not from consumption, fed by the debt, yet is fully aware that “anything we do at public intervention level must be evaluated within the framework of fiscal policy restrictions.”

Mitsotakis also briefed the EU official on the fast growth of the digital state, reforms introduced to modernize the legislative framework on competition, progress on the “Greece 2.0” programs, and Greece’s proposals on energy prices and on more efficient market operations.

The meeting between the two was attended by members of the PM’s office and his special advisor on energy issues.

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