Mitsotakis in Greece pledges first pension increase in over a decade

Mitsotakis in Greece pledges first pension increase in over a decade

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has promised increases in pensions and the minimum wage as part of a A rescue plan of 5.5 billion euros announced on Saturday which aims to cushion the impact of the energy crisis and inflation.

The pension increase would be the first since the country’s financial crisis erupted more than a decade ago. This would benefit some 1.5 million pensioners.

The minimum wage would increase next year, most likely in May 2023, Mitsotakis said.

Greece has raised the minimum wage twice in 2022, with the monthly gross minimum wage currently standing at €713 per month, still below the level it was before the crisis. According to the OECD, the country lags behind most advanced economies when it comes to providing well-paying jobs.

The country faces high inflation, which remained in double digits for a fifth consecutive month in August at 11.4%.

Mitsotakis made the announcement while addressing an audience of businessmen and politicians at the annual trade fair in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city after Athens. The ruling New Democracy government faces an election in 2023 and the speech was widely seen as the start of the pre-election period.

“I know the coming months are election months,” Mitsotakis said. “So I won’t hide that our big choices are now clearer than ever: either we keep moving forward or we go backwards.”

The €5.5 billion cost-of-living aid plan also includes, among other things, exceptional aid of €250 for vulnerable households, a €300 million increase in a heating subsidy for 1.3 million housing units and a 1.8 billion euro plan. to help young people rent or buy a house.

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