Greek PM announces pensions will rise for first time in more than a decade

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ATHENS, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday the minimum wage would rise again next year and pensions would rise for the first time since the financial crisis erupted more than a decade ago. year.

The euro zone’s most indebted country received more than 260 billion euros in international loans between 2010 and 2015 in return for harsh austerity, which included a series of pension and wage cuts.

After emerging from its third bailout in 2018, Greece exited so-called enhanced creditor surveillance last month, giving it greater freedom in implementing economic policy. Read more

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“After many years, pensions will increase for 1.5 million retirees,” Mitsotakis said during his annual economic policy speech in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

Mitsotakis, a Tory who faces parliamentary elections in 2023, said the pension hike will be indexed to GDP growth and inflation.

The minimum wage, which the government raised to 713 euros ($716) a month earlier this year, would rise again in May, he added, without giving a new figure.

His government will also abolish a so-called solidarity levy on private and public sector workers, a legacy of Greece’s multi-year debt crisis, he said.

Mitsotakis also pledged additional funding to cushion the impact of the energy crisis and soaring inflation on households across the country.

Greece has already spent around 8 billion euros ($8 billion) on electricity bill subsidies and other relief measures since last year.

Mitsotakis said the support will continue, with low-income people each receiving aid of 250 euros in December.

Some 1.3 million households will also be eligible for higher financial assistance for heating during the winter, while those who opt for oil or other fuels for heating instead of gas or electricity will see that advantage doubled, he added.

All the measures he announced for this year and next will cost a total of 5.5 billion euros, he said.

Aided by strong growth thanks to better-than-expected tourism receipts this year, the government has decided to use any additional fiscal space to continue funding subsidies on electricity bills.

Mitsotakis said the Greek economy is expected to grow by more than 5% this year, which is higher than the government’s previous forecast for GDP growth of 3.1%.

($1 = 0.9961 euros)

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Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Kotantou Editing by Helen Popper and Andrew Heavens

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