Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday reiterated his center-right government’s intent to raise the minimum monthly wage as of May 1, viewed as a response to unprecedented – by Eurozone standards – inflation and an energy crisis over the past few months, especially in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Political pressure and opinion polls in the country show public worry over prices hikes, especially skyrocketing energy rates.

At the same time, he said the most effective social policy continues to be a reduction of unemployment and the creation of new and good-paying jobs, pointing to a drop in the jobless rate in the country from 17.2 percent in 2019 to 12.8 percent this year.

“I won’t be happy until this rate drops to below the European average,” he said, an ambitious target, given that Eurostat puts the unemployment rate in the Union at 6.8 percent in February 2022.

Mitsotakis spoke in the working-class Piraeus-area district of Nikaia, one of several events ahead of a ruling New Democracy party summit early next month.

Taking advantage of the venue, Mitsotakis also took a “swipe” at the leftist main opposition party, SYRIZA, which held its own party congress over the weekend.

“It would be best if they held one (congress) every year, to remind us what we avoided – an excruciating mix of toxicity, vulgarity, populism and clashes, one which isn’t appropriate for any main opposition party,” Mitsotakis said, in reference to a spattering of acrimonious exchanges and disputes over the process to re-elect party leader and ex-PM Alexis Tsipras.

Touching again on the topic of a general election, he remained steadfast that ballot boxes will be set up in 2023, adding “If we managed to achieve so much amid a pandemic, an invasion at the Evros border and a profound economic crisis, imagine what we can achieve in eight years (i.e. a second term)?”

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