Athens, Sep 13 (IANS) Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a new package of economic measures aimed to alleviate society’s strain from the Covid-19 pandemic, reforms to keep the country firmly on the growth trajectory, as well as fresh defence expenditure.
Outlining his government’s economic policy for the next 12 months, during a key policy speech at the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum, Mitsotakis on Saturday also announced a series of immediate tax cuts, benefits, reductions in social security contributions and programs to boost liquidity and investments in order to ease burdens from employees, pensioners, the unemployed and businesses, reports Xinhua news agency.
In addition, the Greek government will continue reforms to support employment and growth by further reducing bureaucracy and improving the function of public sector services, and by introducing new rules for debt settlement to the state and banking sector, Mitsotakis said.
“Nothing in the world is the same as yesterday,” he told a small audience at the forum.
“However, the crisis cannot become an alibi for stalling the implementation of great changes… Our program of actions has an underlying motto: confidence faced with the challenges ahead, confidence in defence, healthcare and in the economy.”
Regarding the battle against the pandemic, Mitsotakis promised more ICUs beds and hirings of thousands more doctors and nurses.
The Greek also mentioned the new 18 Rafale military aircraft, four Navy helicopters, four frigates and other armaments Greece is purchasing as well as a plan of staff reinforcement with 15,000 men and women for five years in order to strengthen its national defence.
Responding to the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea over maritime borders and the exploitation of energy reserves, Mitsotakis accused Turkey of “undermining peace throughout the Mediterranean”, adding that “it threatens the borders of Europe and undermines security in a crucial crossroad of three continents”.
The new weapons procurement program comes amid heightened tensions with Turkey over resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
Tensions have flared up between Turkey and Greece over energy explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean waters in recent weeks.
They have overlapping maritime claims in the region.