ENERGY CRISIS: Finance Minister Staikouras explains possible repercussions of Ukraine War in Greece

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It is unclear how the conflict in Ukraine will affect prices, Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Friday, but “we need to be calm, we are at war.”

Speaking at Open TV station, Staikouras said, “We do not know how the situation will work out. The picture we have is that each day is worse than the previous one.”

The main sectors affected will be as following, he said:

– Trade, with the basic issue being cereals
– Uncertainty leading to higher borrowing costs, especially for Greece which is not investment grade
– Inflation and development, as every 10% rise in energy prices, pushes inflation up by 0.2 points
– Tourism, as Greece could be affected by a reduction in foreign tourists’ available income, and
– Fiscal cost, in supporting refugees from Ukraine, helping that country, defense costs and support measures.

Meanwhile, a Greek government-wide meeting was held on Friday afternoon to discuss hosting the refugee flows arriving from Ukraine to Greece.

According to a government statement, all topics about assisting the refugees were discussed by ministers and public administration officials, including the processing at border stations, provision of temporary protection, hosting services and conditions, and steps to be taken by relevant ministries.

To the present, Greece has granted temporary residency to 2,704 Ukrainian nationals. Of these, only 50 have applied to stay at entry-point facilities. Greece has a total of 5,000 beds available that could rise to 30,000 if need be, the Migration & Asylum Ministry said.

In the context of an emergency system adopted by the EU countries, Ukrainian refugees will be able to receive a biometric-based identity card with 12-month residency and work permits included. The fast-track system will be introduced on April 4.

Additionally, enrolling children in schools and vaccinating refugees were discussed, along with further dispatch of medical supplies to Ukraine.

The ministries of labor, agricultural development, development, and tourism will provide reports on labor needs in the Greek market for seasonal or permanent positions needed.

The interior ministry is talking with local government and the Church of Greece for housing and support options.

For general public assistance, a special web page is being currently set up where public and private agencies, individuals and NGOs may sign up as to the kind of help they can offer to Ukrainian refugees, here.

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