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Mitsotakis in Davos talks about Greek economy, sustainable growth, migration

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview on Bloomberg TV  on Friday, said that he was confident that 2024 will be a very good year for the Greek economy, which is growing faster than the average for the euro area and can thus attract more foreign investment.

“If we look at Greek spreads and bonds relative to other countries, we see that it is in a better position,” Mitsotakis said, saying he was confident in spite of some concerns, notably the high cost of living.

“What we must do is continue to generate a surplus with sustainable growth. We believe that this is doable,” the Greek premier added, pointing to measures such as the reduction of taxes during the government’s first term, the improved business environment and Greece’s improved image abroad.

He also commented on the Athens International Airport IPO, saying that the process would likely begin in the first months of 2024.

“I think that the airport benefits from the increase in tourism. There have been significant investments in terms of infrastructure in Athens and in Greece. We support all that is built in Greece so that it is sustainable. We focus on sustainable tourism and I think that Greece is an attractive destination for investments,” Mitsotakis said.

Regarding the banking sector, the prime minister said that many people had been concerned about it but everything now looked hopeful for the Greek banks, though there was a need for more competition in the banking sector.

He noted that tackling income inequality was a key “lever” in the government’s programme but this needed a robust surplus in order to create the fiscal space required to support the most vulnerable. He also highlighted the need to support young families with children as a way to address Greece’s declining birth rate, adding that measures for the more financially insecure families will soon be announced.

Commenting on the repercussions of the crisis, Mitsotakis pointed to Greece’s position in the Mediterranean, noting that it was in a troubled region, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine, and said that there was significant concern over the geopolitical situation. He said that Athens was making every effort to support Ukraine and to prevent an escalation of tension in the Middle East.

In another interview with CNN, PM Mitsotakis said that “Greece has probably managed the migration problem better than most other European countries.”

“Hence migration has not been a main issue in our elections. We won a resounding victory partly because we succeeded in managing the migration through a tough but fair migration policy, which acknowledges the need to protect your borders, while at the same time opening up legal pathways for migration for those who are interested to come and work in Greece,” he added.

“At the end of the day, it’s about who determines who enters Europe. It can’t be the smugglers. These people are reckless and responsible for numerous deaths. It has to be to us. So, you have to, you can build a big fence, but you also need a big door. And this is what we’re trying to do,” The Greek PM said.

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