Elections 2023: Velopoulos promises to make Greece an oil-producing country like Norway

Kyriakos Velopoulos. election

The president of the Hellenic Solution, Kyriakos Velopoulos, pledged during an election debate that his party will make Greece an oil-producing country and link it to pensions in the same way that Norway does.

Specifically, in response to a question from Sia Kosioni (SKAI) on whether he believes that Greece should have refrained from the embargo against Russia, Velopoulos replied: "Ask the Greek people if they deserve to pay high prices for food and natural gas and gasoline when they could have the possibility of mining..."

"I insist on gas and oil extraction. When we become a government, we will extract natural gas and oil and link it to pensions and wages so that Greeks can get decent and reliable pensions," he said, adding: "We will do what they did in Norway."

"There, due to the connection of pensions with oil, they get a 3,000 euro pension," the party leader continued.

Asked why he has not supported a single green energy bill, he replied:

"Green energy does not make you independent or saved. Greece will become an oil-producing country. We will export oil. We do not say no to geothermal, nor to hydroelectric. Another thing is the wind turbine which is toxic."

Meanwhile, the Greek party leaders' debate on national broadcaster ERT opened on Wednesday night with responses related to the theme of the economy, development, and employment, with short answers mostly on the clock.

The issue of inflation is global, New Democracy leader and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said. "It has started dropping in Greece, although prices remain high in foods."

He said that families tried by the high cost of living were supported through the market pass program, but that the policy for a second four-year term would be to increase wages.

"Inflation will drop, but wage increases will be permanent," he asserted. Decreases in VAT would not be effective for consumers, he added.

Civil servants' wages have not increased in 14 years, and there is fiscal space to do this, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said, adding there is fiscal space to do this from taxing the excess profits of large businesses.

"While the average household is left without money three weeks into the month, 15 large businesses in the Stock Exchange have 20-year records of 1 billion euros in profits each," Tsipras underlined.

He criticized the government for 10 billion euros in subsidies "so that energy companies can keep prices high," and added that "if we do not decide to make radical changes, in a few years from now there will be no middle class left."

PASOK-Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Nikos Androulakis said he supported stability for economic prospects, and not a standstill or new fiscal adventures.

The party's program aimed at improving the lives of Greeks and included measures for private debt, focusing mostly on protecting the primary home, as PASOK did in 2010. In addition, he said, tax inequities should be fixed and tax incentives provided to new couples to buy homes.

Its plan aimed at serving the interests of the Greek people, said Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoubas, while all other parties spoke of painful primary surpluses and 350 directly antipopular measures to bring the Greek people to its knees again.

None of the parties that supported 50% of New Democracy's draft bills voted to increase minimum wage or to protect people from taxes and pass laws on collective agreements, he added, saying that 95% of all taxes came from the common people and only 5% came from the few and wealthy.

Every serious country should have a Plan B to overcome difficulties, Greek Solution leader Kyriakos Velopoulos said. Having a parallel currency does not help, but there must be an alternative in case something serious happens in the eurozone, particularly if it ends up collapsing, Velopoulos noted, adding that he is speaking as a businessman.

He also criticized the other party leaders for their promises when the source of funding their plans was not obvious. Instead, he said, the productive and the tax models should change, including a flat 15% tax on individuals and companies. PASOK, ND and SYRIZA are responsible for defaulted loans, and cannot therefore provide solutions.

"We believe that joining the euro was a mistake, but we also recognize the great cost of leaving [the eurozone]," MeRA25 Secretary Yanis Varoufakis said, adding that his party's plan 'Dimitra' does not relate to a currency, but to a payment system.

Greece is heading to a minefield of international economy, without any defenses for what is coming, he warned.

READ MORE: Greek inflation rate dropped to 3.0% in April.

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