On Thursday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined his government’s “road for the next four years. He stressed the need to boost wages and pensions, cut taxes, and repay bailout debts earlier than expected.
The Greek prime minister also pledged to “fix the sins of the past”, having secured a solid mandate to enact his government’s policies during the June 25 election, in which his New Democracy party won 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
“At the beginning of my new term, I’m not promising miracles, just hard work,” Mitsotakis told lawmakers in the Greek Parliament.
Mitsotakis explains his government’s fiscal priorities
In his first parliamentary address since the election, the leader of the center-right New Democracy party emphasized that his party had received a mandate to implement swift reforms. Mitsotakis made several pledges aimed at fostering strong economic growth and achieving significant milestones for Greece.
“I firmly believe that the best days are ahead of us,” the Greek prime minister assured lawmakers.
Reflecting on the parliamentary session, Mitsotakis later tweeted, “Citizens today expect bold steps into a future that cannot wait. So that together we can start the journey towards the optimistic Greece of 2030. With a vision, a plan, and a lot of work. We want it, we can and we will.”
His commitments included enabling robust growth, ensuring the country reattains an investment grade credit rating this year after a 13-year gap, and repaying bilateral loans from the initial bailout agreement with the eurozone ahead of schedule.
Furthermore, Mitsotakis promised to provide pensioners with an annual one-time bonus, extend measures to protect households from the burden of rising living costs and increase the tax-exemption threshold for households with children by 1,000 euros starting next year.
Οι πολίτες σήμερα περιμένουν τολμηρά βήματα σε ένα μέλλον που δεν μπορεί να περιμένει. Ώστε μαζί να ξεκινήσουμε το ταξίδι προς την αισιόδοξη Ελλάδα του 2030. Με όραμα, με σχέδιο και πολλή δουλειά. Το θέλουμε, το μπορούμε και θα το κάνουμε. #Βουλή pic.twitter.com/ltdzYdc5CD
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) July 6, 2023
In addition to the myriad of planned policies and reforms, Mitsotakis outline his government’s intentions to tackle tax evasion in Greece.
“We must finally win the war against tax evasion,” the Greek prime minister declared. “We have made strides with electronic transactions, but there is still much to do.”
“And I warn those who have gotten comfortable behind a distorted reality that unfairly distributes the burdens on the backs of all those who cannot hide their income: The government has both the will and the legitimacy to track you down and make you pay your due taxes,” he continued.
In the realm of education, Mitsotakis unveiled a comprehensive initiative geared towards the technology sector, involving a training and certification program targeting 100,000 individuals.
Highlighting the potential of Article 28 of the Constitution’s interstate agreements, he emphasized that it lays the groundwork for the recognition of private universities within the country by the Supreme Council of Education. This development paves the way for the revision of Article 16 of the Constitution.
“The international agreements of Article 28 of the Constitution offer today the possibility of recognition of foreign universities that would like to invest in Greece. This would clear up the landscape and prepare the ground for the major revision of Article 16, and we will move in this direction immediately,” Mitsotakis said.
Additionally, the Greek prime minister highlighted plans to initiate school infrastructure upgrades by September. By 2027, the number of experimental schools in Greece is projected to reach 180.
Mitsotakis vowed to continue a multi-billion euro defense modernization program during its second term in office, setting its sights on acquiring F-35 fighter jets in five years.
“Our priority is to safeguard the country,” he told parliament.
Mitsotakis said the high spending on defense would continue despite a welcome thaw in tension with Turkey in recent months. He is due to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Lithuania.