ATHENS – Greece’s Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Sunday expressed “realistic optimism that 2022 will be a better year for the country,” while speaking at an event held by the ruling New Democracy party in Patras.
“We have strong growth, which was stronger than the forecasts we made, in fact, and whatever we lost in 2020 we got back in 2021,” he said, adding that the government had managed to fulfill a significant number of its pre-election pledges in spite of the pandemic crisis.
“The big picture for the economy is satisfactory and the prospect are particularly hopeful, with several new investments and the creation of new, good-quality jobs,” he added.
Referring to the energy crisis, Staikouras admitted that this had lasted longer than expected globally but also to have had a greater-than-expected impact on household budgets on a European level. “This is why we are responding and to permanently assist available income during passing crises. The reduction of ENFIA (property tax), the lower taxation of businesses, the reduction in social insurance contributions are permanent measures in order to deal with passing crises,” he said.
On the higher cost of energy, he said the government had given more than two billion euros to help cover this and was striving to help households and enterprises as much as possible.