Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his “extreme optimism” over the future course of the Greek economy on Thursday, addressing an Economist roundtable event in Athens.
The event coincided with the Greek government’s second anniversary in power. Government officials, corporate decision-makers, academics and leading thinkers came together in an open dialogue on issues that define Greece and the world.
The Greek economy withstood the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic and is ready to revive, Mitsotakis said.
He asserted that he is “extremely optimistic about the future of the Greek economy, for four basic reasons.” He listed them as follows:
- Bank deposits in Greece correspond to 14% of GDP, and a great part of them will return to the market. There is also an optimistic outlook for tourism returns in the second half of the year.
- The government’s recovery plan (Greece 2.0) foresees the first disbursements from EU Recovery Funds – over 7 billion euros – within 2021. Long-term, the EU Recovery Funds will contribute 7% to the GDP.
- The Greek economy borrows in the international markets at very low interest rates.
- During the pandemic, key infrastructural changes took place, including the digital state, distance working, the new labor framework, and the collapse of myths and stereotypes about Greece, all of which make it a desirable destination for investments. This is confirmed by repeated upgrades by all credit houses, he added.
“Today, Greeks play fewer taxes for everything and contribute lower insurance premiums. Our borders are being guarded as EU borders, and all this was achieved while the planet was under attack by the coronavirus,” Mitsotakis stressed.
He also made a special appeal to digital nomads to come and work from Greece: “Our country can welcome tens of thousands of digital nomads who can settle in Greece and work from here.”
He pointed to Greece’s attractiveness for digital nomads because, as he claimed, the state’s has undergone speedy and extensive digitization through the portal gov.gr, the healthy banking sector, abundance of creative workers, and fair labor regulations.
Encouraging forecasts for the Greek economy
Mitsotakis’ upbeat assessment of the Greek economy follows encouraging forecasts from international organizations and the Bank of Greece.
The European Commission said earlier in the week that the Greek economy is expected to grow by 4.3 percent in 2021 and by 6 percent in 2022.
The Commission, in its summer economic forecast report, revised its previous forecast for the Greek economy slightly upwards for this year, while its forecast remained unchanged for 2022. For 2021, the forecast is by 0.1 percent higher than the Bank of Greece projection.
In early June, the IMF estimated that the Greek economy will rebound after the pandemic by growing by 3.3% this year and an amazing 5.4% in 2022.
The IMF says that the country will see this impressive growth because it reacted swiftly and proactively in responding to the pandemic