Greece confident economy is still on course despite Ukraine crisis

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Finance Minister Christos Staikouras believes that despite affects from the war in Ukraine, the Greek economy is still on course for growth.

"The crisis caused by the war in Ukraine is affecting the Greek economy, but it will not divert it," he said on Saturday during the New Democracy (ND) pre-conference held in Thessaloniki.

He added that "irreversible situations will not be created. We have proved that in difficult times we can make it."

"The achievements and the positive prospects created over the last years are blurred due to the current situation and the recent difficulties and challenges.

"However, the strong foundations that were laid in previous years, make us optimistic that the new crisis affects, but will not divert the Greek economy. The new crisis creates additional difficulties, but will not lead to irreversible situations.

"In any case, we are aware of the escalation of problems in the field of economy."

Despite the huge challenges and the high uncertainty "the New Democracy party has proved that in difficult times it can, and that is why I am sure that despite the great storms, the Greek economy will eventually lead to a climate of high and sustainable growth creating many new jobs and support of social cohesion."

"I deeply believe that with unity and political cohesion we will succeed," he said.

Referring to the course of the Greek economy, the Finance Minister pointed out that the recovery of 2021 was strong "covering the losses of 2020", the composition of GDP improved, as there was a significant increase in both investment and exports, the turnover of companies in 2021 exceeded by 15 billion euros the 2019 levels and unemployment shrank significantly.

For his part, Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis estimated on Saturday that 2022 will remain a good financial year for Greece, with investments continuing at a steady pace.

Also speaking at the New Democracy party pre-conference held in Thessaloniki, the minister also underlined his determination to intensify market controls and to combat profiteering wherever it is located.

"I pledge that 2022 will remain a good financial year for Greece, investments will continue at a steady pace, while trade missions travelling abroad return to Greece with signed agreements and new investments, which will create additional jobs and further reduce unemployment," he added.

Georgiadis said that unemployment is now, for the first time in 13 years, below the psychological barrier of 12 pct, specifically at 11.9 pct, and noted that "it continues to fall steadily in 2022, despite the explosion of inflation, which is mainly the result of the war in Ukraine."

Deputy Development and Investment Minister Christos Dimas said in a statement to AMNA on Sunday that "strengthening research and innovation is one of the most important strategic priorities of the government."

He also announced that the Ministry of Development and Investment and more specifically, the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation managed to secure through the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience Greece 2.0 ("Next Generation Eu" programme), funding in the areas of basic and applied research, the reforms for investments in research and development as well as the upgrading and expansion of the infrastructure of the research centres.

These are actions which amount to a total of 418,877.510 million euros.
Regarding the action "Creation - Expansion - Upgrading of the Infrastructure of the Research Centres under the  supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation," the budget is set at 207,417.122 million euros.

Staikouras also told AMNA that the 2-billion-euro additional budget will be submitted by the finance ministry within the week, in order to provide further support to households and businesses.

"We are listening to the society and we feel the need of citizens for further support, since the crisis is still very intense," he said.

This additional package of measures (so far the measures are close to 4 billion euros) that has been announced, aims, as the finance minister stated, to reduce, as much as possible, the pressure on family budgets, mainly of the weaker income strata.

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