Tsipras Visits Kallithea Market, Stresses High Cost of Living

ATHENS – “Greek society needs measures to resurrect, not crucify the households of the popular class,” main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras commented on Thursday, after visiting the shopping precinct in Athens’ Kallithea district.

Tsipras said he had spoken with consumers and shop owners about the drastic reduction in their income, “as well as the unsupportable situation that skyrocketing electricity bills and high prices create for households and traders,” stressing that it was imperative to raise minimum monthly salaries to 800 euros “as the [current salaries] are not enough to cover even the electricity bills and two visits to the supermarket”.

According to the main opposition leader, this Easter will be the worst in many years as households were unable to meet the cost of inflated bills and “terrifically high prices”.

He reported “frustration, anger and despair” among those he spoke with in Kallithea, warning that the situation will reach an “unprecedented impasse” if the current situation continues in the months ahead, while he stressed that measures unable to tackle the crisis “are not enough”.

“Yesterday, the minimum wage was increased by 7.5 pct when inflation is running at 9 pct. We increased the minimum wage by 11 pct when we had negative inflation. And we have made a commitment and have been demanding that wages increase to 800 euros [a month] for a year now, before the crisis began,” Tsipras pointed out, adding that “Greek society “demands and wants relief and prospects.”

He also stressed the need for measures to reduce the increase in electricity bills by at least half, reduce VAT on mass consumption products, as well as the special consumption tax on fuels.

“It is clear that the government of [Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis] neither wants nor is able [to deliver],” Tsipras added, noting that this can only happen “under a progressive government through a SYRIZA-PA victory in the next elections”.


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