Hatzidakis: With the right mix of economic policy we raise Greece higher

‘ After the last election, the right mix with political stability is combined in Greece,” notes the Minister of National Economy and Finance, in an article published today (17.3.2024) by the newspaper “The Daily”, under the title “How are things going in the economy?”. As Mr Hatzidakis adds, “we have the only political opportunity to promote all changes that will raise Greece higher,” quoting the main of the interventions, from the government’s financial policy mix, follows the entire article of the Ministry of Culture Kostis Hatzidakis, today in the newspaper “The Kathimerini”. “Well, we didn’t plan it well. News is not good for the economy. The government has dropped it to benefits and is not concerned with the productive base of the economy. Really, let’s see. Is that how it is? I will not stand so much in the debt record reduction as a percentage of GDP from 2019 to 2023. Nor in the -although impressive – reduction in unemployment by about 7 points in the same period (about 400 thousand employees). Or the 19% increase in the average salary (over 14% inflation) and the minimum wage by 20%, and a new increase is imminent at the end of March. Without underestimating, of course, the inflation problem. Where, however, we are close to the average European average. And with the problem of food persisting, but also with the Ministry of Development having taken a number of decisive measures. But let us remember: Red loans – total, not only banks – have fallen from 98 billion in 2021 to 73 billion euros in 2023. Household and business deposits have increased by 53 billion since 2019, with 60% of the growth coming from households deposits. Direct Foreign Investment (25 billion cumulatively over the four years) has reached the highest point in the last 20 years. Without underestimating the investment gap that still exists, and which with a pro-investment policy we seek to limit further. But also the export records: With an increasing presence in both food and beverage exports (18% of the value of exports) and industry, which has been an impressive recovery in recent years. Also, the growing share of high-tech goods in exports. Evolution which is apparently not unrelated to the fact that 6 out of 10 jobs created between 3rd quarter 2019 and 3rd quarter 2023 (ELSTAT) were positions of high skill. And yes, we are concerned with the current trade deficit which, however, fell in 2023 by one third compared to 2022! Some will insist: Well, that’s all right, but have you lost your reform dynamics since the election? We implemented 50% of our financial programme for the four years immediately after the election! Of course, before the elections, people talked about risking problems with the EU if we applied it. Reality proved who was right and who wasn’t. We also brought a law on banks: The possibility of granting loans by non-bank institutions, as in many EU countries, to strengthen competition in the banking system. We have passed the law with the 11 initiatives to limit tax evasion including the new system of taxation of free professionals and the compulsoryness of electronic pricing. The cost of borrowing the Greek State, thanks to the recovery of the investment tier, has fallen sharply since the election. We are borrowing cheaper from Italy and we are now only one unit from Germany. Only from the loan we will make with ten-year bonds this year will we save 850m euros in the depth of decade for taxpayers. In the eight months since the election, 10 decentralizations and concession contracts (4 by the TSF and 6 by the TIPED) were advanced, bringing revenue over 7.1 billion euros. Especially for the decentralization of banks we had impressive investment interest and high prices offered. I do not forget growth. Within an environment of low European “flights” – and despite the adverse effect of the natural disasters of autumn – Greece achieved a growth rate of GDP five times the Eurozone (2% versus 0.4%). After the last election, Greece combines the right mix of economic policy with political stability. We have the only political opportunity to promote all the changes that will raise Greece higher. Here, which one of them we’ve already started: The application of the tax reduction law and the interconnection of cash machines with POS which, I repeat, will be completed at all costs. The reform of the National Public Investment Programme to make it simpler, transparent and ultimately efficient for the Greek economy. The tax and financial incentives bill for business mergers and innovation to produce high-tech and added-value products. Moreover, the Transfund and its subsidiaries bill, which will make the Transfund more developmental, will create the new National Investment Fund and make its subsidiaries of the Transfund flexible according to the PPC model. The bill that will shield the Capital Market Commission in its institutional function and make the Stock Exchange more attractive. And, of course, the country’s Fiscal Structural Plan that will specify our budgetary progress in a framework of prudence based on the rules of economic governance recently agreed by the EU. Rules from which we have not requested specific exceptions. Just because we want to send out the message that we are seriously continuing to try to achieve real convergence with the EU! “