Government promises to "continue increasing wages and available income"

Little Venice Mykonos waiters workers

The decline of the unemployment rate in Greece to 9.2% in December 2023, three percentage points lower than in December 2022, was the topic that government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis chose to begin his press briefing on Monday, noting that 102,000 jobs have been created in the past year.

"The government's coherent fiscal policy, the growth trajectory of the economy, the aim to attract big investments and the favourable investment climate created in the last 4.5 years have open the way to an increase in new jobs as we promised," he said, noting that this drop in unemployment had "unlocked" wage increases in the private sector.

He said the government intended to continue increasing wages and available income until the minimum wage reaches 950 euros a month while the average wage stands at 1,500 euros a month.

Marinakis went on to refer to support measures for farmers announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, such as reimbursing the Special Consumption Tax on diesel and a series of measures to lower energy costs, saying these will cost 82 million euros and 150 million euros, respectively.

He also noted Athens' support for delaying fallow land rules under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which will free tens of thousands of hectares of land for cultivation.

"Our country is asking for a re-examination of elements of CAP and to explore what measures can be taken for a smoother adaptation to the new environmental requirements of green agriculture," he said.

Marinakis repeated that the government will support households and enterprises, remaining within the limits of the country's fiscal capability, for as long as the inflationary crisis lasts, noting that the support to farmers was made possible by the improvements in the economy.

He wrapped up the briefing by announcing that a draft bill regulating issues concerning the National Cybersecurity Authority is due to be voted on next Thursday as well as reporting on the results of a traffic police crackdown on dangerous driving offences in early February.

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