PM Mitsotakis: Before global turmoil and an unpredictable neighbor, we must all rally together

Greece
Fri, 10 Jun 2022 7:10 GMT
The government’s role is to form that fertile environment that allows jobs to take root and economic activity to flower, while the business world ought to take creative advantage of opportunities and raise the bar for itself and for national development,...
PM Mitsotakis: Before global turmoil and an unpredictable neighbor, we must all rally together

The government’s role is to form that fertile environment that allows jobs to take root and economic activity to flower, while the business world ought to take creative advantage of opportunities and raise the bar for itself and for national development, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the Athens Chamber for Commerce and Industry on Thursday night.

In an address at the Chamber’s annual award ceremony, Mitsotakis underlined that despite successive obstacles on the global scene, the Greek economy should be "defined by this rare diptych of resilience and prospect," and pointed out that from a growth rate of 8.3% in 2021, which was "much higher and beyond the most optimistic expectations in the beginning of the year," and the GDP increase by 7% in the first quarter of 2022 (by 2.3% compared to the last quarter), the last quarter of 2021 achieved a growth that was "a pleasant surprise." The continuing drop in unemployment and significant rise in exports were contributing factors, with the latter rising above 40 billion euros in value.

The government, the premier said, had realistic targets, but he also warned that none of the achievements, in business particularly, was self-evident or a result of luck. He referred to lower taxes and lower contributions, and in an institutionalized introduction of incentives to increase productivity and the size of Greek businesses through mergers or collaboration of small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the steady funding by the government’s development plan, Program Greece 2.0, was proving that the Recovery Fund was not related to large businesses alone.

"It is our duty not to beautify the global environment we are in - these are unprecedented times, we have a war going on," PM Mitsotakis said, "and I will say it again: It is the first time we have a war in Europe, something that seemed unfathomable a year ago." He also noted the unprecedented energy upheaval, a disturbance of global trade, a threat of food shortages - not for Greece, but for other countries, in the Third World - and an inflation which unfortunately eats away at citizens’ income throughout Europe.

"We have a neighbor who is getting angrier as he becomes more isolated," the premier said,  "and I repeat, that at these times, a strong country is one that is a stable country. And it is this stability that is accompanied by continuity and consistency that I am determined to safeguard."

Greece is continuing its reforms programme and implementing "one of the largest support programmes against the price hikes in all of Europe," while no national budget can offset the repercussions of a war and an unprecedented global energy crisis. "We must not allow the sacrifice of what we achieved in the past, we must not compromise the profits of the future," he noted. The government will continue on a socially sensitive and fiscally balanced path, he stressed, and called for unity above party clashes.

"Greece does not have any room to be swept away in a climate of inflationary requests and costless promises. And it certainly has to stay away from toxic party clashes. National elections will take place at their due time, at the end of the four-year term. But this is the time for different priorities - first of all, for national rallying against an unpredictable neighbor, (then) for sensible financial management and for continuous interventions to safeguard a smooth and creative daily life," Mitsotakis told the Chamber.

Wrapping up his speech, the Greek PM called on members of the Chamber to claim their own place on the national front of development and social cohesion, affirming that the state will be by their side.

AMNA

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