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Greece: PM revises economic growth to 5.9% this year, from 3.6%

The Greek economy is projected to grow by 5.9% this year, faster than the 3.6% growth previously forecast, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday during his annual economic address.

Greece emerged from a decade-long financial crisis in 2018 but saw its economy slump again by 8.2% last year amid restrictions to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today we are announcing the revision of the (growth) target for 2021 from 3.6% to 5.9%,” Mitsotakis said. “In an economy that will give opportunities to every citizen, without leaving anyone behind.”

As Mitsotakis spoke in Greece’s second-city of Thessaloniki, more than 15,000 people protested there on issues ranging from economic policy to coronavirus vaccines. Short-lived clashes broke out between anti-vaccine protesters and police, who fired tear gas and water canon to break up the crowd.

Greece’s economy grew by 3.4% in the second quarter of this year, beating forecasts and giving the government fiscal space to proceed with tax relief measures.

Its annual expansion rate hit 16.2% percent, thanks to a pick up in consumer spending and investments.

Analysts attributed the second quarter’s growth mainly to the lifting of lockdown measures, pent-up demand and a boost from state support measures, and less to tourism, the impact of which is expected to be manifested in the third quarter.