The government is committed to equitable growth after the country’s exit from the adjustment programme, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Tuesday during a press briefing, placing special emphasis on restoring labour market regulations, attracting investments, building a new welfare state and continuing democratic reforms.
Tzanakopoulos said that main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ central choice is “cooperation with the IMF,” adding that his programme “resembles” the policies of erstwhile British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Given the steady recovery of the Greek economy with growth rates of 2 pct in 2018 and the settlement of the Greek debt, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had presented his strategic plan for the country at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair, Tzanakopoulos said. The spokesman also outlined the government targets, such as reducing unemployment, raising the minimum wage and measures to be taken.
On the target of reducing unemployment to 10 pct over the next five years, Tzanakopoulos noted that this was an ambitious but also realistic goal, considering that unemployment had fallen from 27 pct when the government was elected to 19 pct at present due to the creation of 330,000 new jobs.
In terms of fiscal and economic policy, he said the prime minister had made concrete commitments for both 2018 and 2019, as well as the years to come. In this context, he explained, the labour ministry had announced that an amendment will be tabled within the next few days to immediately begin the process of raising the minimum wage, while legislation will be tabled within the next few weeks so that, within 2018, retrospective payments can be made to judges, armed forces personnel and academics, in accordance with the relevant decisions of the Council of State.