PM Mitsotakis: No more lockdowns; minimum wage to rise 2% by Jan. 1, 2022

International conferences like the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) offer the only opportunity for all countries to get together and assume commitments to reducing greenhouse emissions, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday.

In an interview to Mega TV, Mitsotakis underlined that Greece’s green transition “will not be shouldered by the Greek people,” and that more and better jobs will be shortly created in western Macedonia, where lignite production is being phased out.

Speaking of the coronavirus pandemic, he ruled out another lockdown. “I’m firm on this, simply because right now three in four people have done the right thing, and it would be unfair to impose restrictions at a great cost, in order to manage a problem related to a minority – no European country follows this tactic,” he said.

As for criticism from the main opposition that churches are exempted from requiring Covid tests to enter, he said that the government had shut them down in 2020 and Greek Orthodox Easter services were suspended.

In terms of obliging segments of professionals to get vaccinated, Mitsotakis said that as a measure it has reached its end. He was responding to a question on whether he would oblige members of the security forces to get vaccinated. “No other country has expanded obligatory vaccinations because, from a point on, we hit a wall of resistance,” the premier said.

Mitsotakis said the rise in prices was a global phenomenon and that inflation was expected to drop as of the start of 2022. The government, he noted, will spend a total of over 500 million euros to help restrain electricity prices. Without this, the bills would have increased tenfold, he added.

As of January 1, 2022 the minimum wage will be raised by 2 percent, while he is determined to introduce a second one within 2022, after real numbers and business resilience are taken into account.