As thousands of people demonstrated against the high cost of living on Saturday (September 10), Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised a number of handouts as well as increases in pension and wages. He also warned Greeks to brace themselves for a challenging winter.
Speaking at a trade show in Thessaloniki, the Greek prime minister announced that he would raise the minimum wage and pensions for the first time since the start of the financial crisis more than ten years ago.
“(Moscow wants) to turn energy uncertainty into European political instability. I know that society is already afraid of a period where prices will affect our income. We have to prepare for a very hard winter, but we must also not allow the victimizer to impose its blackmail on the victim,” said Mitsotakis.
A total of 1.3 million homes will also be qualified for financial assistance with heating costs this winter, and those who choose oil or other fuels over gas or electricity will receive a benefit that is doubled.
Also read | Turkiye accuses Greece of occupying demilitarised islands in Aegean Sea
Since last year, the Greek government has spent more than eight billion euros subsidising family power bills to help them cope with the increasing energy costs that have driven inflation to its highest point in almost three decades.
“For the last twelve months we have already been unfolding a program against the energy battle, (we were the) first in Europe, one of the biggest support programs on our continent. But the solution here will not be sufficient if it is not a European solution. I am glad that, even though with delay, Brussels is showing to be moving to Greece’s rythm of proposals. Because on a national level, what I can assure you, is that our interventions will be continuous,” said Mitsotakis
increaseitionally, he promised to continue giving aid to businesses, farmers, unemployed people, students, those with low incomes, and other vulnerable groups.
A legacy of Greece’s prolonged debt crisis, he noted, is a so-called solidarity fee on employees in the commercial and public sectors.
(With inputs from agencies)