PM Says Any Aid to Help Households Tackle Energy Prices Will Be Targeted

February 12, 2022

ATHENS – The measures to relieve Greek citizens of the sudden rise in energy bills will be targeted rather than across the board, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview to Skai TV that was broadcast on Saturday morning.

“We will continue to provide this support for as long as the upheaval in the energy market continues, which we hope will be temporary,” he noted.

The prime minister said he expects a de-escalation of the steep cost by May, while he justified announcing measures month by month “because it is a technical issue – every month we must check the limitations of the system so that we can provide targeted support. There will be support in March and April, and we hope that by spring we will have a significant de-escalation of energy prices.”

He also announced that solidarity fee deductions on pensioners’ and civil servants’ monthly checks will be abolished as of 2023, and will gradually be applied to every Greek within that year.

In addition, he spoke of the minimum monthly wage rises as of May 1. “I cannot tell you by how much, but the increase of the minimum wage will be much higher than the 2% we already provided, which is a low rise. My wish is to go as far as the small and medium-sized enterprises can handle,” the premier said.

Mitsotakis also addressed sports violence and says there will be no suspension of sentences for those who are sentenced in such cases. In addition, organized football fans will only be able to attend games with seasonal tickets.

Referring to the heinous murder of a young football fan in Thessaloniki by members of an opposing club who are now in detention, Mitsotakis said in the interview that “if we do not resolve the issue of violence now, we never will.” Looking ahead, he announced that “next week we will have explicit announcements by related ministries, and the legal framework will become stricter in order to be able to deal with such phenomena of violence.”

He also warned professional football clubs and opponents of the new measures that legislation will become stricter. As he noted, “the football clubs are also responsible: there is a stricter framework in place since 2019, but we saw that a lot of fan clubs operate without rules. This will change. There is a legislative framework, and if some few hooligans are outraged, too bad. I am sorry, but this is not what Greek football is about, these are not Greek football fans.”

Asked about Turkey’s provocative attitude, the prime minister said he has “no reason to enter into a game of verbal confrontation with the Turkish leadership,” as “our friends on the other side of the Aegean may feel that there is some internal pressure, and they want to change the agenda due to the many problems in Turkish economy.”

Mitsotakis also reiterated that national elections will be held at the end of the four-year term, and that there is no case for changing current electoral law.


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