“We are delivering on our pre-election promises earlier than we said,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday in Parliament.
“We have reduced the Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA) by 22 percent on average to provide relief to households throughout Greece and to boost the real estate market. We have also reduced the tax rate on low incomes from 22 pct to 9 pct. In businesses, it will drop from 28 pct to 2 pct. And in dividends, from 10 pct to 5 pct,” he said.
“With key legislative interventions we have also eliminated many pernicious and dysfunctional elements: the asylum for violence and illegality has been abolished. Democracy has returned to universities! And I’m glad to see that the aspect of public universities has already started to change,” Mitsotakis said during a meeting of main opposition New Democracy’s parliamentary group.
“We have dealt with the issue of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which the previous government had brought to the brink of collapse, setting ambitious targets for phasing out lignite by 2028,” he said, adding: “This is our ‘green’ reply to those who remembered the environment rather late in the day. They are the same people who speak of a ‘clean’ economy but still put up posters all over the city.”
Referring to the tragic fire in Mati and its aftermath, Mitsotakis said his government had taken steps to remove the dangerous stockpiles of timber collected after the fire and ensured that the victims of the tragedy have full and free care, as well as finally getting the 112 European emergency number to be fully operational.
“It is no coincidence that we did not mourn a single victim this summer, despite the multiple fires, thanks to the new Civil Protection agency and the self-denial of our firefighters and the preparedness of municipalities and volunteers. And the burnt areas were fewer than last year. At the end of the fire season, I want to warmly congratulate these everyday heroes,” said Mitsotakis.
“All this is part of a plan based on meeting commitments: to the citizens, for what we promised them. But also to our partners and the markets, for the credibility we were asked for. And we gained this credibility! The country recently borrowed at a rate of only 1.5 pct when, in March, the previous government borrowed at 3.9 pct. A few minutes ago I was informed that Greece borrowed money at a negative interest rate for the first time ever,” the prime minister said, adding: “In terms of the economy, Greece is already borrowing at lower interest rates. We are ready to repay our expensive International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.”
Mitsotakis stressed that the next items on the government’s agenda before the end of 2019 concern the voting rights of Greeks living abroad, changes in the health system, the Civil Protection system, giving greater freedom to public universities and a new pension system that is compatible with the rulings of the Council of State.
He also offered assurances that there will be no more pension cuts.
“The economy will grow at a rate of over 2.8 pct and unemployment will fall substantially. New investments are being implemented and are starting to create a new market climate. Now it’s time for businesses to invest. At the same time, relief measures are being taken to support those that are weakest. All benefits are paid normally. The tax free allowance remains at the same level. And, of course, we have promised 2,000 euros for every child that is born in Greece,” the prime minister said.
Moreover, he underlined that the winter heating benefit will be paid on time.