Greece’s economy will grow 5.9% during 2021, far more than the original 3.6% estimate, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Saturday at the at the Thessaloniki International Fair, where heads of government traditionally announce the coming year’s economic policies and relief measures for the society.
Mitsotakis justified the growth revision based on the growth by 16.2% in second quarter of 2021, compared to the Q2 a year earlier where majority of the economy was shut down due to the first pandemic lockdown.
Right at the beginning of his speech Mitsotakis announced the purchase of another 6 French Rafale fighter jets that will enhanced the fleet of 18 to 24. “The first of them will fly in the Greek skies before the end of the year,” he cheered.
Recalling the achievement of his governance, the PM noted there are about 70,000 more people employed than before the pandemic; 46,000 additional businesses, and bank savings increased by 35 billion euros ($41 billion), of which 20 billion ($23 billion) were from additional household savings.
He addressed the youth, Mitsotakis said that 15- to 17-year-olds who will be vaccinated will be granted 50 gigabytes of free data for their smartphones.
“Newly hired young people up to 29 years old, without previous working experience, will be subsidized for 6 months by the state with 1,200 euros upon first recruitment. 600 euros will be given to employers, and the remaining 600 euros will be given to these young workers on top of their salary to spend as they wish,” Mitsotakis announced.
Student housing allowance will be extended to students at private postgraduate educational institutions for vocational training (IEK), he noted.
As of January 1, 2022, the special fee for mobile telephony and data is zeroed for those aged up to 29
The new digital services card for young people will also be established in 2022, he added.
Further he announced a range of tax reductions and spending targeted at young people, small businesses and the middle class. Small businesses are encouraged to merge with tax breaks and new entrants in the job market will be subsidized.
He announced the creation of an Energy Fund aiming to counteract the rising electricity prices. The government will set aside a 150 million-euro fund to help consumers absorb the price rises. In addition, about 24 billion euros will be invested in environmentally-friendly projects, with the help of EU funds.
He announced that all natural persons and businesses will pay a flat 10% special tax fee in mobile telephony as of 1.1.2022 instead of current 12%-20%.
He announced unspecified reductions in the unified property tax ENFIA for 2022 but he did not mention any reductions for the ENFIA 2021 expected to be issued end of the month.
Mitsotakis mentioned the so-called parental gift deeds, the legal document which transfers ownership of a piece of real estate from a parent to an adult descendant as a gift or a donation. Tax on these types of parental deeds up to the value of 800,000 euros is abolished as of January1, 2022.
Workers in the private sector will stay exempt in 2022 from paying solidarity contribution tax, while a reduction of 3% in insurance contributions for these workers will continue in 2022.
Corporate tax will see a permanent drop to 22% from 24%, while capital raising tax is being reduced by half.
He even announced “free diagnostic tests for basic diseases for all Greeks.” He did not elaborate on what are these “basic diseases” and created confusion as diagnostic tests are anyway free of charge for insured and uninsured at public health care facilities.
PS All in all Mitsotakis’ presents to the public and the country were peanuts in a bag, some financed by 3rd parties like telecommunication companies, some of them were announced during his speech at TIF last year and some will need at least a decade to materialize (transition to green energy).
His speech a mixture of gifts and pre-elections program that yet do not meet needs of the whole society but specific groups indicate that the Greek government is just 1.5 step away from snap elections.
sources: AP, amna, ERT TV Live