Economist's Democracy Index: Greece's ranking climbs, Kikilias attributes success to vaccination program

Athens Acropolis Economist

Greece rose from 34th to 25th place in the Economist's Democracy Index 2022.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's latest report on the quality of democracy around the world, Greece climbed nine places in the scale of the so-called Democracy Index for 2022, recording a clear improvement and one of the best performances of Economist index.

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, who also served as health minister during the initial waves of the Covid-19 pandemic and posted about this on Twitter.

"The rise is attributed by the recognised international organisation primarily to the success of the government's policies in the management of the pandemic, the effective vaccination campaign and the spectacular recovery of tourism," he said.

Two pillars which, as many note, are inextricably linked given that tourism, a key pillar of the Greek economy, has recovered significantly, despite the fact that it could have been irreparably damaged if the pandemic had been mishandled.

It was the best performance for Greece since 2010, when it scored 7.92. Greece moved up nine places to 25th in the world (and 15th in Western Europe behind France [8.07] and Great Britain [8.28]).

At the opposite end of the scale is Turkey (4.35).

The survey rates the state of democracy on the basis of electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

On the downside, the survey also noted there is evidence to suggest that journalists are not free to investigate, with significant censorship of issues related to the police, the military and the Church.

Journalists are also sometimes treated with threats and violence.

Meanwhile, hotels located in Athens and the Attica region recorded an average occupancy rate of 69.1% in 2022, up from 54% in 2021, but significantly lower compared with an average rate of 77.4% in 2019, the Hoteliers' Association of Athens and Attica said in a report on Thursday.

However, December figures were encouraging, since average occupancy rate was 7.9% higher compared with 2019.

The report said that, according to the European Benchmark, average room prices in Athens were lower compared with the city's competitors, like Istanbul, with revenue per available room at 83.95 euros on average in 2022, up from 82.20 euros in 2019.

This despite the fact that costs rose because of a spike in the inflation rate. Revenue per available room grew 63.1% in 2022, compared with 2021.

READ MORE: Moxy: A hotel to see Athens differently.

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