Marinakis: 'Tackling the demographic problem is the biggest wager'
Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis again referred to the government's measures to combat what he called "imported but also persistent" high prices in statements to SKAI television on Sunday, with emphasis on measures taken to boost household incomes but also the major duty of tackling the dwindling birth rate.
He noted that civil servants will be getting pay raises for the first time in 14 years, as well as the higher tax-free allowance for families with children, increases in child benefit, maternity benefits, longer maternity and paternity leave and the 2,000 euros for the birth of a new child.
He also referred to the programmes to assist households in buying or renovating their home, greater support for childcare costs and other measures.
"This is because we saw a huge, existing problem. Greece is growing old. [For] most young people - I see this with my friends and acquaintances - it is very hard [to have children]...Therefore, if high prices are the biggest battle that both we and the other countries are fighting, tackling the demographic problem, supporting young families, is the biggest wager. The family is at the core of ND's policy and will remain so," he said.
Marinakis noted the government's pledge to increase the minimum wage to 950 euros a month during its current term, and the average wage to 1,500 euros, saying there will be repeated increases of the minimum wage. He also pointed to cuts in more than 50 taxes in the last four years, saying this will increase the country's credibility for companies that operate in Greece.
Replying to a question on same-sex marriage, he said that this was an "obligation" and an issue of equal rights in some important areas, especially the rights of the children of same-sex partners. He defended the prime minister's stance regarding MPs in the ruling New Democracy party that may object to the legislation, saying the call urged MPs to vote in favour, while noting that it was better to abstain than to vote against the bill.