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Greek PM Mitsotakis Sets Growth, Support Plan

Mitsotakis growth
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the public at the Thessaloniki International Fair. Credit: Greek Government

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday set new growth targets, focused on a support plan for young Greeks and changes in the energy market at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

Mitsotakis addressed the nation in the customary annual speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) 2021, outlining the economic program for the coming months.

With the background motto “Greece is changing — It walks ahead — It gazes upwards,” the prime minister first addressed the younger members of the audience sitting in the front row at the city’s Vellidio Conference Center.

The support plan for young Greeks

“You are in the front row because you are this country’s priority, the generation that was tried and tested in the most in recent times.”

“The generation that is anxious about their course in life, which they may be thinking that it is paved with opportunities for the few and traps for most.”

“Greece needs new protagonists and you are them,” the prime minister noted, 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 you have,” Mitsotakis said, addressing the young crowd of the Thessaloniki International Fair.

The prime minister outlined a support plan for young Greeks, saying that newly hired people under 29 years old, without previous working experience, will be subsidized by the state for six months.

Specifically, for six months they will be granted 1,200 euros upon first hiring: 600 euros will be given to the employers, and 600 euros to the young employees on top of their wages.

Moreover, as of 2022, subsidized new jobs will increase to 150,000 from 100,000, while a student housing subsidy of 1,000 euros per year will be extended to students at private educational institutions for vocational training (IEK), Mitsotakis noted.

Additionally, as of January 1, 2022, the excise tax for cell phone services will be suspended for those age 29 and under.

Vaccinated teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 will receive 50 GB of free data on their mobile phones.

The new digital card for young people that will include all the services provided by the state will be established in 2022, Mitsotakis said.

Mitsotakis also said that the so-called parental gift deeds — the transfer of real estate property from parent to an adult offspring — will not be taxed for deeds up to 800,000 euros as of January 1, 2022.

Relief plan for all Greeks announced at Thessaloniki international Fair

After the youth, the prime minister proceeded presenting an aid plan for all Greeks at the Thessaloniki International Fair, including tax cuts.

In 2022, workers in the private sector will remain exempt from paying the solidarity contribution tax, while the 3 percent reduction in insurance contributions will remain as well.

Business tax will see a permanent drop to 22 percent, from 24 percent, while capital raising tax is being reduced by half.

“We are introducing discounts for green capital,” noted the prime minister, as small and medium-sized businesses that merge will be taxed at only 15.5 percent as of now. The measure will be in force for three years.

Mitsotakis emphasis on growth

Mitsotakis said that “we are announcing the revision of the growth target for 2021 from 3.6 percent to 5.9 percent in an economy that will give opportunities to every citizen, without leaving anyone behind.”

He noted that even though the average Greek income went up by 4 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, the new price hikes are a cause of worry. Mitsotakis, noted that the government “will not stay idle in the face of global price hikes.”

To shield the Greeks against the higher prices in consumer goods, the prime minister announced three targeted measures at the Thessaloniki International Fair:

Lower VAT for coffee shops, travel and 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.

The subsidies include a 30 percent reduction in income tax for individuals who spend up to 5,000 euros in electronic transactions in specific sectors (plumbers, electricians, home services, taxis, legal services, and others).

A 6 percent reduction in animal feed prices for farmers, and a 20 percent increase on heating fuel subsidies was one of the measures announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

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 percent.

Mitsotakis underlined that Greece is setting up an Energy Transition Fund allocating 150 million euros to absorb up to 80 percent of price hikes in electricity costs, which “practically means that increases in electricity prices will be reduced or even eliminated altogether.”

Greece economy best in Europe, says Mitsotakis

Greece’s overall economic performance is one of the best in Europe, Mitsotakis noted,  despite all the challenges, like the pandemic, environmental catastrophes and immigration.

He said that Greece is stronger financially, geopolitically, and more powerful in terms of its defense capabilities. Its image abroad has changed and its prestige has been strengthened.

Concluding, his speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair, Mitsotakis stated that he is more optimistic than ever before: “As of today, a new, exciting journey begins, which we will all take together, putting into practice the motto of this year’s TIF.”

Greece is moving on the path shown to us by George Seferis and Mikis Theodorakis, who will always be by our side,” the prime minister concluded his speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

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