Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview on Bloomberg TV with Francine Lacqua on Friday, said that he was confident that 2024 will be a very good year for the Greek economy, which is growing faster than the average for the euro area, which he said was a result of significantly increasing foreign direct investment.
If one looked at Greek spreads, Mitsotakis noted, Greek bonds were trading at comparable levels to Spanish bonds, while declaring that he was confident that Greece was at the start of a long cycle of growth, in spite of some concerns, such as the high cost of living.
“What we must do is … continue to generate a primary surplus and reduce our debt to GDP ratio through sustainable growth. We have shown that this is doable,” the Greek premier added, pointing to measures such as the reduction of taxes during the government’s first term, the improved business environment and Greece’s improved image abroad.
He also commented on the Athens International Airport IPO, saying that the process would likely begin in the first months of 2024.
“The airport benefits from the increase in tourism… There have been huge investments in terms of infrastructure in Athens…. And whatever is built now in Greece must be sustainable,” Mitsotakis said, stressing that Greece was now focused on sustainable tourism and that the Athens airport was a good alternative for those wanting to invest in tourism.
Regarding the banking sector, the prime minister said that many people had been concerned about it but everything now looked hopeful for the Greek banks, though there was a need for more competition in the banking sector.
Cabinet to discuss equality in marriage next week, law should pass by February
The prime minister next spoke about legislation to allow same-sex marriages, saying that the “issue of equality in marriage will be discussed in the cabinet next week and will be submitted to Parliament after public consultation.” He said he was confident that the bill will become of a law of the state some time in the first two weeks of February.
“What I have to openly say is that these are important issues for certain citizens…. Until now we have had a healthy discussion. We have explained the issue regarding equality in marriage and we must protect the rights of the children that already exist. It is a fact, it is reality, and ultimately I think that this is something that the Hellenic Parliament will soon legislate,” Mitsotakis said.
He noted that tackling inequality was a “motive force” in the government’s programme but this needed a robust surplus in order to create the fiscal space required to support the most vulnerable. He also highlighted the need to support young families with children as a way to address Greece’s declining birth rate, adding that measures for the more financially insecure families will soon be announced.
Commenting on the repercussions of the geopolitical crisis, Mitsotakis pointed to Greece’s position in the Mediterranean, noting that it was in a troubled region, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine, and said that there was significant concern over the geopolitical situation. He said that Athens was making every effort to support Ukraine and to prevent an escalation of tension in the Middle East.
He also expressed Greece’s support for generous EU economic assistance to Ukraine, and the hope that the next European Council will back Athens’ proposal, while noting that Greece needs more funds to deal with migration and the repercussions of the climate crisis.