Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Saturday that the minimum wage will be raised again next year, and pensions will be raised for the first time since the financial crisis began more than a decade ago.
Between 2010 and 2015, the eurozone’s most indebted country received more than 260 billion euros in international loans in exchange for strict austerity measures that included a succession of pension and pay cuts.
Following the completion of its third bailout in 2018, Greece was released from its creditors’ so-called enhanced supervision last month, giving it greater flexibility in executing economic policies.
‘After many years, pensions for 1.5 million pensioners will be increased,’ Mitsotakis stated in his annual economic policy speech from the northern city of Thessaloniki.
Mitsotakis, a conservative who is up for re-election in 2023, stated that pension increases will be adjusted to GDP growth and inflation.
He said that the minimum salary, which the government increased to 713 euros ($716) per month earlier this year, would be raised again in May, although he did not provide a new figure.
According to him, his government will also repeal a so-called solidarity charge on commercial and public sector workers, which is a remnant of Greece’s multi-year debt crisis.
Mitsotakis also offered additional assistance to help people cope with the effects of the energy crisis and rising prices.
Since last year, Greece has spent over 8 billion euros ($8 billion) on power bill subsidies and other relief measures.
Mitsotakis stated that the assistance will continue, with low-income earners receiving a 250-euro handout in December.
Some 1.3 million homes would also be eligible for increased financial assistance for heating throughout the winter, and those who use oil or other fuels instead of gas or electricity will have their benefit doubled, he added.
He stated that all of the actions he announced for this year and next will cost a total of 5.5 billion euros.
The government has opted to continue supporting electricity bill subsidies, aided by solid growth thanks to higher-than-expected tourism earnings this year.
According to Mitsotakis, the Greek economy would grow by more than 5% this year, exceeding the previous government’s prediction of 3.1% GDP growth.