Greece: Three new initiatives against price hikes

“When we talk about price hikes, we have to be precise. I will describe the objective reality, citing data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and Eurostat, because the issue … requires plain truths,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday in his speech at parliament.

“The first truth is that there is indeed a global price crisis. After lockdowns, increased demand raised prices and inflation. For these and other reasons, energy prices have risen,” he said, adding: “There is a lot of discussion among economists. The vast majority of them, and I consider it in a documented way, claim that the phenomenon will be temporary. Others believe that this phenomenon is attributed to fiscal easing. The ECB shares the first view, hence it does not raise interest rates, which could be a brake on growth.”

Mitsotakis noted that this is not the first time we have had similar inflationary trends, and cited the European debt crisis in 2010-2011.

“The phenomenon then proved to be temporary, so even now I think we will see a de-escalation of this phenomenon in the first quarter of 2022,” he underlined.

“The total amount channelled for the support of workers and businesses is 680 million euros. This support as a measure of economic activity is one of the largest in Europe,” the prime minister said.

“We are talking about a coherent and bold program that extends to all sectors, to every household throughout the country, which works to alleviate the increase in prices as it leads to an increase in disposable income,” he added.

“The increase in the average income of Greek citizens in the last two years is 7.4 pct while the European average is at 3.5 pct,” he underlined.

“All this is happening at a time when we are still fighting the coronavirus, at a time when we are facing national issues and we are dealing, I believe, successfully with natural disasters (…) Unemployment reduction figures are also important, where Greece is a leader in its reduction at European level,” he stated.

The premier also mentioned three fresh government initiatives against price hikes: half a monthly salary to 100,000 health workers in the national health system and in the ambulance service, to be deposited in December; low-income pensioners to receive a 250-euro bonus, with 50 euros added for every additional family member, while the same bonus will be given to some 173,000 people with special needs.


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