Speaking at the 85th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivered the customary keynote address on the government’s economic policy.
The Greek PM announced a revised growth target for 2021 from 3.6% to 5.9% announcing the aspiration of “an economy that will give opportunities to every citizen, without leaving anyone behind.”
Everyone’s income went up by 4% during the coronavirus pandemic, said Mitsotakis, but noted that the government “will not stay idle in the face of global price hikes.”
To this effect, three targeted measures are introduced:
- lower VAT tax for cafes and travel or transport
- strict implementation of the law on unfair corporate competition and profiteering,
- and the provision of state subsidies against price increases that affect every household
Most households will pay reduced property tax (ENFIA) in 2022, said the prime minister, and he also mentioned an imminent reduction of tax for gyms and dance schools down to 13%.
A support plan for the country’s youth was highlighted in his speech.
Addressing the younger members of the seated audience, Mr Mitsotakis said: “You are in the front row because you are this country’s priority, the generation who was tried and tested the most in recent times.”
Greece needs new protagonists and “you are them,” noted Mitsotakis, before outlining the national action plan for young people:
“You grew up in the recent financial crisis, in pandemic-induced lockdowns, and you are experiencing the climate change crisis. I pledge to fight to change this image with you in the foreground.”
Announced measures include:
– Newly hired young people up to 29 years old, without previous working experience, will be subsidized for 6 months by the state with 1,200 euros upon first recruitment (600 euros will be given to employers, and the remaining 600 euros will be given to these young workers on top of their salary)
– Student housing allowance will also be extended to students at private postgraduate educational institutions for vocational training (IEK), he noted.
– Additionally, as of January 1, 2022, the special fee for mobile telephony and data is zeroed for those aged up to 29, while vaccinated teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 will receive 50 GB of free data on their mobile phones.
On other economic policies, changes were announced on the so-called parental gift deeds, the legal document which transfers ownership of a piece of real estate from a parent to an adult descendant as a gift or a donation.
Tax on these types of parental deeds up to the value of 800,000 euros is abolished as of January 1, 2022.
Business tax will see a permanent drop to 22% from 24%, while capital raising tax is being reduced by half.
Greece is also setting up an Energy Transition Fund, Mr Mitsotakis underlined, allocating 150 million euros to it, and which will absorb up to 80% of price hikes in electricity costs: “this practically means that increases in electricity prices will be reduced or even eliminated altogether.”
The Greek PM claimed the country’s overall economic performance is “one of the best in Europe […] despite all the challenges. It is stronger financially, geopolitically, and more powerful in terms of its defense capabilities. Its image abroad has changed and its prestige has been strengthened.”